Bridgepoint’s Blowout Debut Lifts Markets As FTSE 100 Recovers From Covid Shake

(Rio Tinto)

The first-day deals of Bridgepoint’s highly anticipated IPO delivered strong private equity-style returns today as investors seized a rare opportunity in the buyout sector.

The European midmarket specialist’s shares were capped at 350p at a valuation of £ 2.9 billion before rising more than 25% to 440p on conditional deals.

Bridgepoint, the former private equity arm of NatWest, will raise £ 300 million from the listing to build a war chest for real estate and infrastructure expansion.

Its debut has sparked investor interest in the booming private equity market, as US funds in particular are buying ever larger stocks, with Morrisons targeting the latest acquisition.

Better known for buying and building smaller, usually privately owned businesses, Bridgepoint has avoided the controversy associated with the sector. It joins a small group of publicly traded buyout groups that include FTSE 100 firm 3i Group.

The IPO was certainly a good time as confidence in the broader London market continues to rebound after Monday’s blows. The FTSE 100 index rose 1.5% to climb 99.66 points to 6,981.26 as European markets followed Wall Street’s overnight rebound in a strong stock reopening session.

Rolls-Royce bounced back from 6.2p to 96.2p and British Airways owner IAG improved 9.8p to 170.2p, with the pair only being beaten by Next after the retailer’s surprise update its Stocks was up 9%. Compass also improved 7.85p to 1.491p after Jefferies analysts raised the catering group to a buy recommendation.

Mining stocks were also higher, despite China’s announcement that it would auction reserves of copper, aluminum and zinc to ease price pressures.

The FTSE 250 index rose 348.71 points to 22,467.90 amid strong interest in pandemic-hit stocks as Cineworld rose 10% while transportation stocks National Express and Trainline both rose 6%.

Future digital publisher continues to impress after CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne further raised earnings forecasts on the back of strong e-commerce performance.

Shares rose 8% to a new record of 3,462 pence. IT services company Computacenter was another company to raise its forecasts as its FTSE-250 shares rose 118p to 2,578p.

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