Hummus maker regains appetite for stock market listing

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Bakkavor, food supplier to a host of supermarket giants, has now decided to press ahead with a flotation, just a week after supposedly canning it due to market “volatility”.

Exactly a week ago the company, which is also the UK’s biggest maker of hummus, said that “proceeding with the transaction would not be in the best interests of the company, or its shareholders, given the current volatility in the IPO market”.

However, on Friday Bakkavor said that it is now embarking on an initial public offering (IPO) that will raise around £100 million, value the firm at £1 billion and see around 25% of its capital floated on the London Stock Exchange.

It is understood that the group U-turned on its decision after discussions with investors.

The new terms will also see the offer price slashed from a mooted 195p per share to 180p share.

Bakkavor supplies Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, and Waitrose and claims to account for 30% of the UK market for freshly prepared meals, pizza and desserts.

The firm’s Icelandic founders Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson and US hedge fund Baupost will retain a majority 75% stake following admission to trading next week, with institutional investors also set to join the share register.

Simon Burke, chairman of Bakkavor, said: “The board and I are delighted to welcome our new shareholders.

“It is particularly pleasing that our initial register has such a strong presence of well-respected long-term investors, reflecting an appreciation of the quality of the business and its long-term prospects.”

Mr Gudmundsson added that the IPO represents a “significant milestone” for Bakkavor.

The resurrection of the IPO comes after a number of firms have pulled the plug on stock market listings.

Last week TV and mobile infrastructure firm Arqiva “postponed” plans for a £6 billion London listing as it bemoaned “market uncertainty”.

Earlier, business services provider TMF Group also ditched plans for an IPO in October, opting instead for a sale to private equity firm CVC Capital.

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