What would have been the biggest initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange this year will not go ahead, after mobile mast provider Arqiva opted to scrap its plans because of the current volatility in the financial market.
The company, Britain's largest owner of TV transmitters, had unveiled plans for a £6bn flotation only two weeks ago, but has now opted to postpone its stock exchange debut until conditions improve.
"The board and shareholders have decided that pursuing a listing in this period of IPO market uncertainty is not in the interests of the company and its stakeholders, and will revisit the listing once IPO market conditions improve," the company said in a statement on Friday (3 November).
Despite a shift towards on-demand viewing, the company, which is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Australian bank Macquarie, has reported an increase in revenue this year.
Arqiva, whose clients include the BBC and ITV and various international broadcasters, is not the only firm to have pulled the plug on a planned IPO in London. Food producer Bakkavor, which supplies food to Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, has shelved plans for its £1bn IPO, also citing market uncertainty as the reason for its change of heart.
"Whilst the company received sufficient institutional demand to cover the offering, the board has taken the decision 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," it said.
The group, which is owned by its Icelandic founders Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson and US hedge fund Baupost, had intended to float on the stock market to raise funds to repay some its debts.
Last week, Dutch business outsourcer TMF cancelled its planned £1bn IPO, opting to sell to private equity house CVC Capital Partners instead.