IPO Watch: Bridgepoint shares surge on London debut

·1-min read
A man passes the London Stock Exchange
Bridgepoint saw a bumper listing on the London Stock Exhcange, with shares surging more than 20% on its first day of trade. Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

Shares in private equity firm Bridgepoint (BPTB.L) surged on their debut on Wednesday morning in London, jumping 21% to trade at as much as 423 pence per share. 

The initial offer was priced at 350 pence per share, giving the group a market cap of £2.9bn ($3.9bn), the largest private equity listing in decades. 

By mid-morning the stock was trading at around 420 pence per share.  

Bridgepoint's debut comes at a time when private equity deals are booming in the UK, as a spending spree has ensued. Most recently supermarket chain Morrisons was targeted by a number of US PE houses as a good acquisition. 

Private equity firms have been largely unaffected by volatility in equity markets brought about by uncertainties surrounding recovery from the pandemic. 

Buyout groups in the UK have historically tended towards remaining in small, private partnerships. By contrast, private equity giants Blackstone Group and KKR in the US went public more than a decade ago. 

Bridgepoint is one of several groups that have looked to public markets in recent weeks, with Antin Infrastructure Partners and TPG also potentially looking to list. 

Read more: FTSE 100 rises as UK government borrows another £22bn

The firm made £300m with the sale of new stock, as backers offloaded existing shares worth £489m.

Recent Bridgepoint investments have included high-street chain Itsu – it gave a substantial investment to open up to 100 new sites. It also recently acquired financial software company Fenergo and owns stakes in Burger King franchises in the UK. 

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