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Primary issuance: Secondary market rocks the boat for primary deals

The primary equity market is the latest victim of the sustained falls in stock markets around the world, now into its second month.

Although equity strategists everywhere have been offering assurances that the declines are an overreaction, investors are taking no chances. “The market has been brutal,” says Jean-François Tine, co-head of equity capital markets at Ixis Corporate and Investment Bank. “It’s given up six months of gains in two-and-a-half weeks, on the back, of so far, nothing more than sentiment that we’re going to have a rise in inflation and that growth is going to slow.”

The list of casualties is growing daily. In June, Italian petrol station operator Anonima Petroli Italiana and Italian management consultancy Value Partners, which had hoped to raise up to €392 million and €180 million respectively, were forced to pull the plug on their IPO plans as investors walked away from the deals.

Taking a hit
Monthly global IPO issuance, 2006
Source: Dealogic

In the UK, cinema operator Cineworld and care homes company Southern Cross also cancelled their IPO plans. In Paris too, where Aéroports de Paris had successfully raised €1.1 billion just a couple of weeks before, Bridgepoint and AlpInvest, the private equity owners of Medica, abandoned their plans to sell the retirement homes company on June 22 because of investor caution about valuations given the jittery market.

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