Food delivery firm Deliveroo could make Britain's biggest stock market debut since commodities giant Glencore went public nearly a decade ago, after setting a price range that values it at up to $12 billion.
The food delivery firm has been held up by the British government as a sign the City of London can still attract major initial public offerings (IPO) following the UK's exit from the European Union.
It is set to be London's biggest IPO since Glencore in May of 2011, according to data provided by the London Stock Exchange.
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A London stock market listing by Allied Irish Banks (AIB) in 2017 is excluded from the data as it had a small listing in Ireland at the time.
Deliveroo will also be the biggest tech IPO on the LSE, dwarfing The Hut Group from last year, which had a £5.4 billion market capitalisation at time of listing, and the since-delisted Worldpay Group from 2015.
The company has benefitted from the closure of restaurants for anything other than takeaways during the COVID-19 crisis and revenues have soared accordingly, with so-called gross transaction value, which measures the total value of orders received, rising by 64.3% in 2020 to £4.1 billion.
But it faces questions on whether that momentum will continue after COVID-19 restrictions are eased and be enough to turn the business towards profit after it posted an underlying loss of £223.7 million ($308.93 million) last year.
"Deliveroo has clearly had a COVID boost," senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Susannah Streeter said. "Although this insatiable demand for takeout food isn't likely to fully unravel, there is inevitably going to be a drop in demand as diners seize the opportunity to book tables at their favourite eateries when restrictions do ease."
Deliveroo said that it has set a price range for its listing of between £3.90 and £4.60 per share, which will give it a market value of between £7.6 billion and £8.8 billion ($10 billion - $5 billion and $12 billion), excluding any shares offered as part of an over-allotment issue.
An announcement to investors seen by Reuters said that the deal size will be £1.5 billion - £1.6 billion, rising to £1.7 billion after the over-allotment of shares.
Of this, new shares will raise £1 billion for the company and the rest will be made up by existing shareholders selling part of their stake.
Deliveroo has opted not to pursue a premium listing - ruling it out of inclusion in the FTSE indices - which allows founder and chief executive Will Shu to retain enhanced shareholder rights.
In a short trading update, Deliveroo added that the total gross transaction value on its platform was up 121% in January and February this year compared to the same period in 2020.
"We have seen a strong start to 2021 and we are only at the start of an exciting journey in a large, fast-growing online food delivery market, with a huge opportunity ahead," Shu said in a statement.
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