Bakkavor ditches plans for stock market flotation

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UK-based private-label giant Bakkavor has torn up plans to float in London, pointing to the "current volatility" in the market for IPOs.

Arqiva had planned a £1.5 billion (S$2.69 billion) offering that would have been among the biggest in the United Kingdom this year, while Bakkavor sought to raise about 100 million pounds.

Whilst the company received sufficient institutional demand to cover the offering, the Board has taken the decision that proceeding with the transaction would not be in the best interests of the company, or its shareholders, given the current volatility in the IPO market.

Elsewhere in United Kingdom business circles, telecommunications company Arqiva this morning also announced its decision to "postpone" its own plans to list in London.

Arqiva, whose clients include the BBC and ITV and various worldwide broadcasters, is not the only firm to have pulled the plug on a planned IPO in London.

It comes after business services firm TMF scrapped its London IPO on October 27 in favor of a 1.75 billion-euro sale to private equity house CVC Capital Partners.

"Fund managers don't like it when they've done all the work and that happens", he said.

Separately on Friday, food group Bakkavor said that it had also shelved plans for a much smaller IPO, which reportedly would have valued the company at about £1bn. While rising markets have fueled a booming IPO pipeline, several companies that went public this year are trading below their offering prices, including French clothing retailer SMCP SAS and Swiss energy-metering company Landis+Gyr Group AG.

It did not say in its statement if it would revive its listing plans if conditions recover.

Rothschild is also advising Arqiva and HSBC, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Cazenove were managing its listing.

The Telegraph reported earlier this year that Arqiva - now owned by Macquarie and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) - was being eyed by at least half a dozen buyers.