Europe's initial public offering market is on track for its busiest start to the year since the financial crisis as private equity companies seek to capitalize on demand from investors hungry for more exposure to the region's recovery.
The private equity backers of ISS, the Danish outsourcing group and Poundland, the UK discount retailer, on Tuesday announced their intention to float the companies in Copenhagen and London, just a day after GTT, the French engineering group, said it would seek a listing in Paris. Together they are seeking to sell more than $2.3 billion worth of shares. Pets at Home, the UK pet shop chain owned by KKR, is expected to follow suit in the next few days.
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The moves mean more than $8.3 billion worth of European IPOs are being marketed, on top of the more than $3.2 billion of flotations that have priced since the start of the year, according to data compiled by Dealogic. If all the IPOs go ahead as planned, the first quarter of 2014 will be the strongest start to the year since 2007.
Gareth McCartney, head of equity syndicate at UBS in Europe, said: "Activity is picking up because markets are buoyant with attractive valuations and market conditions are expected to remain good."