The market for new listings here in the UK is the hottest it has been in four years with the momentum set to continue.
In the first six months of 2021, there have been 49 initial public offerings with companies such as Darktrace, PensionBee, Victorian Plumbing and MADE.COM making their debut as publicly listed businesses.
The traditionally slow third quarter looks to be getting off to a strong start with a host of new entrants that have already joined the market or are set to do so by the end of August.
Last week we saw Lords Group Trading, the building supplies wholesaler and retailer, take its bow.
Meanwhile, on Friday INEOS-backed HydrogenOne Capital Growth, an investor in clean energy storage will join the market (hopefully after banking the expected GBP250mln from placing of new shares).
Looking ahead there are a number of companies already on the launchpad ready to hit the market, most of which are at the smaller end of the valuation scale. This will change as the year rolls on the markets remain a reliable source of capital.
Included on the list of imminent IPOs is Quantum Exponential, which, when it joins the Aquis Exchange next month, will be London’s only listed company specialising in quantum computing, which offers a revolution on processing.
Also ready to push the ‘go button’, although we don’t quite know when yet, is Central Copper Resources, which plans to raise funds to advance copper projects in Africa.
There are two further growth companies worth looking out for among the herd of new issues.
The first is Technology Minerals Limited, a battery metals specialist with a green twist, which submitted its listing prospectus to the London Stock Exchange in mid-June.
It did so having completed an oversubscribed pre-IPO funding round understood to have brought in GBP4mln of new investment.
The initial cash injection is being used to develop battery recycling plants. TM’s Recyclus business owns technology that allows it to recycle both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. It is also developing a number of battery metals mining projects.
Also making preparations to join the market is SpectrumX Holdings Ltd, which is developing an inhaled respiratory treatment with blockbuster potential and has a sanitiser product that looks set to generate significant near-term revenues.
It is in the process of bringing in pre-IPO funding ahead of what is expected to be a GBP50mln listing on the LSE.
Cash raised will kick-start the commercial roll-out of Spectricept, the active ingredient of the firm’s non-alcohol-based hand sanitiser which is 300-times stronger than bleach but is safe for use on skin.
It will also be put to use developing SPC-069, shortly to be trialled on COVID-19 patients, but which could also be used to treat a range of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. In this era of antibiotic resistance, this broad-based potential is bound to attract a lot of industry interest.
Both the inhaled treatment and the sanitiser harness the antimicrobial qualities of a chemical known as hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is produced as a vital component of our bodies immune system this is used to destroy unwanted bacteria and viruses.
The formulation mimics how humans make HOCl, which means it is resilient to contaminants that affect rival hypochlorous acid products.
The imminent UK roll-out of the sanitiser could quickly transform the business, analysts say.
It is taking its SpectriMIST product, an all-in-one sanitising spray that can be used on skin, surfaces and to eliminate odours in the air, direct to consumers using online technology pioneered by The Hut Group.
NHS and schools among early adopters
Several NHS hospitals and UK schools, meanwhile, are among the roll call of early adopters using HOCl-powered hand sanitisers as a safer, more effective and skin-kind alternative to the current alcohol sanitisers used.
SpectrumX, Technology Minerals, Central Copper and Quantum Exponential are just four of a significant backlog of IPOs yet to be cleared by London’s investment banks in the coming weeks and months.
This means the annual summer break is likely to be a lot shorter this year than it usually is for those working behind the scenes getting new businesses dressed and ready for the prom.
It will also require the markets to remain buoyant and calm as we head full steam towards the end of what has been quite an eventful year for the London capital markets.