Reviews company Trustpilot plans to raise $50 million in a London IPO – handing the UK capital a tech listing

Trustpilot is looking to take advantage of a boom in online retailing

  • Trustpilot has chosen London for its upcoming IPO, giving the UK capital a sizable tech listing.
  • The reviews company is seeking to take advantage of a boom in online retailing and investor demand.
  • Trustpilot is targeting a $1.4 billion valuation, according to a person familiar with the matter.
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Online reviews company Trustpilot has announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange and raise $50 million, giving the UK capital a sizable technology listing as it competes with New York and Amsterdam for initial public offerings.

Trustpilot is seeking to take advantage of both strong demand for tech companies from investors and a boom in online retailing driven by the pandemic.

The Copenhagen-based company has already been boosted by the surge in online retailing, with revenues jumping 25% in 2020 to $102 million, narrowing its pre-tax losses to $12.9 million. Around 121 million reviews had been submitted through Trustpilot by the end of 2020, while the company had close to 20,000 subscribers using its paid service.

Trustpilot hopes its stock-market debut will give it a valuation of around £1 billion ($1.4 billion), according to a person familiar with the matter.

“With ecommerce making it more difficult for consumers to know where to place their trust and for businesses to earn it, Trustpilot is well positioned to facilitate the growth of the trust economy for years to come,” the company’s chairman Timothy Weller said in the statement announcing the intended IPO.

Chief executive Peter Holten Mühlmann said: “Today is a significant landmark in our development. We believe that an IPO of the business will allow us to continue the momentum of recent years, providing a platform to deliver new products to more geographies, and succeed in our vision to become a universal symbol of trust.”

Trustpilot’s plan to IPO in London is a boost for the UK’s main stock exchange, which has lost out in recent months to New York and Amsterdam when it comes to fashionable new listings.

New York has been at the centre of the boom in special-purpose acquisition companies – or SPACs – and is where the world’s biggest tech stocks are traded. Amsterdam has also attracted SPACs and has taken a growing share of European stock trading after Brexit.

Trustpilot plans a free float of at least 25% of shares. An over-allotment option could make another 15% available.

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Billionaire Bernard Arnault is launching a SPAC, as the blank-check boom spreads to Europe

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Bernard Arnault is the fourth-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg

Luxury goods billionaire Bernard Arnault has joined the hoards of investors and celebrities launching blank-check companies, and has teamed up with the former head of Italian financial services firm UniCredit to launch a SPAC.

The world’s fourth-richest person and owner of LVMH has teamed up with former UniCredit chief executive Jean Pierre Mustier to create a special-purpose acquisition company with a focus on “innovative” European financial firms.

A special-purpose acquisition company – or SPAC – is an entity that exists solely to list on the stock exchange to raise money, in the hope of finding and merging with a target company to take it public.

More than 140 SPACs have gone public in the US this year, raising more than $45 billion. But the SPAC boom is catching the interest of European investors. Amsterdam has emerged as a hub, although the numbers remain far smaller than in the US.

Read more: Tom Finke recounts how he went from running a $345 billion money manager to joining in the SPAC boom as a sponsor – and shares 3 characteristics investors should look for in an ideal blank-check company

Mustier and former Bank of America banker Diego De Giorgi will be the operating partners of the SPAC, which will be called Pegasus Europe and list in Amsterdam, according to the Financial Times.

Tikehau Capital and Arnault’s Financière Agache holding company will be strategic and financial sponsors. A statement released by Tikehau said they will “bring meaningful resources and support to the company.”

Arnault – who owns brands including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy – is the latest in a long line of big-name SPAC sponsors. Hedge fund boss Bill Ackman floated a $4 billion SPAC last year, while former Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam has one in the pipeline. 

Basket player Shaquille O’Neal and quarterback and campaigner Colin Kaepernick are among the celebrities to have backed SPACs.

Ex-Commerzbank boss Martin Blessing is reportedly planning to list a shell company in Amsterdam.

“There is in Europe a need for growth capital,” Mustier told Bloomberg TV on Monday. He said the sponsors “share the same vision, to bring capital to companies in Europe. And we chose, naturally, the financial sector to do that.”

The four sponsors plan to buy at least 10% of the SPAC’s shares at IPO, Tikehau said, and to commit to a “substantial forward purchase agreement.”

Read more: Short-seller Carson Block says the day-trading revolution that hit GameStop and other stocks is changing the playing field for investors like him. Here’s how his firm is reinventing itself – and what he’s betting against today

Read the original article on Business Insider