March 4, 2021

Shares jump 25% in first big UK tech listing of the year

An employee sits reflected in a glass screen featuring the London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s logo at their offices in London, U.K., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON — Shares in online card retailer Moonpig jumped 25% within minutes of pricing its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The London-based company floated with a share price of £3.50 ($4.79) but the stock surged to £4.40 less than an hour after trading began.

The listing price valued the company, which floated under the ticker “MOON”, at around £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion). By contrast, rival firm Card Factory has a market cap of £118 million.

Moonpig is the second-largest listing in the U.K. this year behind shoe and clothing retailer Dr. Martens, which went public last week with a valuation of £3.7 billion.

Moonpig CEO Nickyl Raithatha said in a statement: “As the leaders of a market undergoing an accelerating shift to online, now is the perfect time for us to bring the company to the public market, and we are excited about Moonpig’s prospects for the future.”

Moonpig is the first U.K. tech IPO of the year but there is a queue of other companies preparing to go public.

Food delivery service Deliveroo is reportedly planning to list in April at a valuation of between $8 billion and $13 billion, while currency exchange app Transferwise may also go public. Elsewhere, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and pension pot provider Pension Bee are also looking at potential stock market listings.

Many of the U.K.’s biggest tech firms have traditionally opted to list on the tech-focused Nasdaq market or the New York Stock Exchange in the U.S. However, the London Stock Exchange has been trying to convince them to list at home in recent years.

Neil Shah, a technology sector specialist at the London Stock Exchange, told CNBC: “The 2021 pipeline for tech IPOs in London is very strong, with more tech floats expected in the first half than in the whole of 2020.”

He added: “These companies will join over 180 London-listed tech and consumer internet businesses. London provides tech businesses access to deep pools of global capital and a financial ecosystem that supports dynamic high-growth companies.”

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