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LSE Says 2011 London IPO Proceeds Up 27%, Sees "Exciting" 2012

By Vladimir Guevarra Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSE.LN) Wednesday said proceeds from initial public offerings in London this year rose 27% from last year, and that 2012 "promises to be another exciting year." Despite the increase in IPO proceeds, the results were lower than expected. Analysts said IPOs in Europe had a slowdown in the second half of the year as the European sovereign debt crisis took its toll. This year, 76 companies from across the globe raised GBP12.9 billion in their initial public offerings in the LSE, up from the GBP10.07 billion raised by 89 companies last year. Chief Executive Xavier Rolet said the LSE's diversification strategy "is delivering real and tangible results." "We remain focused on diversifying our business, driving organic and inorganic opportunities, working with our customers and leveraging on our assets," Rolet said. In May, Rolet said that the London market's IPO pipeline then looked "pretty full" and that "you'd have to go back to the early part of 2006 [to look for a comparative level], so we're in an upswing." Activity on the LSE's main market peaked in 2006 and 2007, with nearly 90 IPOs a year, with each year raising more than GBP20 billion. The financial crisis in 2008 led to only 35 IPOs, raising just GBP6.3 billion. A huge chunk of the money raised this year came from the IPO in May of Glencore International PLC (GLEN.LN). The $10 billion in proceeds meant that Glencore, a Swiss-based commodities producer and marketer, became the largest ever international IPO in London and was the first company in 25 years to enter the FTSE100 index at admission. The LSE has been aggressive in trying to woo foreign companies from all over the world to list in London, an effort matched by its strategy to enlarge its business through acquisitions. Over the past two years, it has acquired Turquoise, an erstwhile competitor in European share trading, as well as Sri Lankan technology provider MillenniumIT. Earlier this year, LSE failed in its effort to acquire Canada's TMX Group Inc. (X.T), operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, but is now in talks to buy a stake in clearing house LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd, and is also reportedly interested in the London Metal Exchange. Earlier this month, the LSE bought the remaining 50% stake in FTSE International Ltd. that it doesn't already own from Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) for GBP450 million. In the first 11 months of the year, European exchanges raised $29.6 billion in capital from 251 IPOs, down from $36.7 billion from 252 IPOs in the same period last year, consultancy firm Ernst & Young said earlier this month. The recovery of the IPO market in Europe and the rest of the world depends largely on how the euro-zone problem is resolved, the firm said. -By Vladimir Guevarra, Dow Jones Newswires; +44(0)20-7842-9486; vladimir.guevarra@dowjones.com

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