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IPOs


Prepare for LAUNCH


The global IPO market may be in the doldrums, but the Channel Islands are ideally placed to profit when confidence returns, as Christian Doherty explains


T 32 businesslife.co February/March 2012


HERE ARE MANY ways for private businesses to raise capital. They can ask the bank; they can try to attract an investor; or they can look


to the public markets and list on an exchange. Until the financial crisis, this last route was


a viable option for most healthy businesses. The number of initial public offerings (IPOs) on the world’s exchanges held strong, and London enjoyed a steady stream of companies going public, both from the UK and beyond. Market sentiment was broadly bullish


(some might say too much so), and any company with a reasonable story to tell was welcomed. Advisers’ deal fees swelled as they shepherded companies into the public arena. Fast-forward a few years to April 2011.


Engineering firm Edwards Group announced it was shelving its plans to go public after poor investor demand left it struggling to meet the valuation needed for its private equity owners. It had been on track to raise £350 million, but could barely muster any investor interest. Three days later, another highly regarded


business, Moneybookers, was forced to pull its long-awaited IPO. Tellingly, a comment


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