In order to get ready for a listing in New York, WANdisco, a “big data” company, has reportedly hired bankers from Evercore Partners, according to media sources.
The decision is significant because there are rising concerns about the London stock market’s capacity to compete with the far larger capital markets available to US-based businesses.
The chip manufacturer Arm Holdings confirmed this week that it would exclusively list its shares in New York after a months-long assessment, a decision that was seen as an insult to Britain due to its UK headquarters and prior membership in the FTSE-100 index. Ministers made a lot of efforts to convince SoftBank, the Japanese owner of Arm, to pursue a dual listing in London, including Rishi Sunak while he served as chancellor.
According to Arm CEO Rene Haas, “SoftBank and Arm have determined that pursuing a US-only listing of Arm in 2023 is the best road forward for the firm and its shareholders after months of interaction with the British government and the Financial Conduct Authority.”
When FTSE-100 building materials firm CRH announced it had made preparations to move its listing to the US, where the majority of its business is generated, the uncertainty regarding London’s allure was highlighted.
The gaming company Flutter Entertainment, which owns Paddy Power and Betfair, is also recommending creating a secondary listing in New York, but it is anticipated that it will follow that up by giving up its primary listing in London.
The seller of plumbing and heating equipment, Ferguson, relocated its primary listing to the US last year.
Many other businesses are considering taking similar actions.
The decision of WANdisco to base a listing in New York has apparently been planned for many years.
The company’s co-founder, chairman, president, and chief executive, David Richards, first mentioned the prospect of its shares trading in the US in 2017.
WANdisco describes itself as a data activation platform with offices in Silicon Valley and Sheffield that uses cloud-based analytics technologies to support clients’ decision-making.
The company’s shares have increased more than fivefold over the past year, and it has a market capitalisation of more than £890 million.
It is now “very probable,” according to a source close to WANdisco, that the company will pull the trigger on a New York listing.
Early-stage investors and corporate executives frequently make the argument that huge institutional shareholders’ mindset and the rising dominance of passively managed funds are largely to blame for the situation.
After going public in London in recent years, shares in technology businesses like Darktrace and Deliveroo have had a particularly rough ride.