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As the number of companies moving to list on stock markets around the world starts to gather pace, Jersey’s looking strong, as David Burrows discovers


T


HE EUROPEAN market in initial public offerings (IPOs) showed an encouraging upturn in the last quarter of 2009. Stock markets seemed to be opening up, and there was a pipeline of listings in place, indicating that European IPOs would recover during the first half of 2010, barring any


major financial shocks. Then, almost on cue, came the Greek debt crisis, which along with other contributory factors undermined investor confidence and almost instantly put the brakes on IPO activity. Ten deals were withdrawn or postponed in just 15 days at the end of


January and the beginning of February this year. In the UK, Travelport, New Look and Merlin Entertainments were pulled. In fact, a total of 28 offerings were withdrawn or postponed globally in the first quarter. But there are hopes that over the coming months the outlook for IPOs will


improve, and just looking at some Jersey firms that are involved in this arena provides cause for optimism. Robin Smith, Corporate and Finance Partner at Carey Olsen, believes that


IPO business is progressing, albeit cautiously at the moment. “There may not be a large number of deals in the public domain at present. However, in April we advised Jersey-incorporated company Bellzone Mining in respect of the


June/July 2010 businesslife.je 33 ➔


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