2014 look back reveals mixed year for stock market flotations But by later in the year, stock market conditions had turned, forcing Virgin Money, which employs about 200 people at its base on Whiting Road in Norwich, to delay its long awaited flotation plan for a number of weeks and resulting in a slowdown in the flurry of new entrants.
Richard Branson and Virgin Money CEO Jayne jimmy choo new collection Anne Gadhia Despite this, there was still an overall 26pc increase in the amount of money raised on the London public market, the highest since 2007. Next year is likely to start more slowly as demand is hindered by uncertainty caused by the forthcoming General Election and the realisation that, for the class of 2014, shares have not performed as well as many had hoped. Pets at Home, MySale and online electricals retailer AO World are among a number of stocks still trading below their opening price. Meanwhile, fashion retailer Fat Face, Aldermore Bank jimmy choo silver flats and housebuilder Miller scrapped public floats due to market turmoil later in the year. Retail was the dominant sector among the floated firms, accounting for 14 initial public offerings (IPOs). The star performance came from computer game retailer Game Digital which has jumped more than 70pc above its 200p offer price in June. Saga, the over 50s focused holidays to insurance group, staged the biggest public offer of shares since the Royal Mail, valuing it at 2.1bn. It was priced at the lowest end of the 185p 245p price range announced two weeks earlier, under which it would have been valued at up to 2.5bn. The downgrade reflected early signs of fatigue at the high valuations coming to market. Its shares currently stand at around 150p, 19pc down from its May float. Since its float, Saga has said jimmy choo heels sale it plans to enter new markets such as wealth management, private home healthcare and retirement villages. The business was floated by private equity firm Charterhouse, who also floated roadside breakdown business AA this year. Newcastle based Virgin Money's 1.25bn flotation last month contained all the drama of this year's IPO market in one firm. The lender, backed by billionaire Sir Richard Branson, was due to float in October but put this off because of market turmoil. But just a few weeks later it declared it was ready to float at 283p a share, the bottom end of its 283p 333p range. Virgin, which provides mortgages, savings and credit cards to 2.8 million people, raised 150m amid plans to boost its share of the UK mortgage market and lift its credit card jimmy choo footwear price lending. Horsham St Faith based energy firm entu, which specialises in solar panels, wall insulation and double glazing windows, raised 32.8m when it went public on the London Stock Exchange in November. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) valued the company and its brands including Zenith, Staybrite Solar and Zest at 65m. Gary Burton, managing director of entu South, said the float provided the capital it needed to bring forward innovative products where people can control heating and lighting from an app on their phone.
Speaking at the time, he said: "It is a market we believe will be worth around 27bn, and there is no home in the UK which would not want one of these products. It is no longer a wishlist, it is a necessity because energy bills are soaring." The firm, which employs 365 full time employees across the group and 1,216 self employed canvassers, has an office at Joseph King House, Southwell Road, Horsham St Faith, while its main base is in Manchester.
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