Misys drops London IPO citing poor market conditions

The banking software firm Misys has abandoned plans for a return to the stock market, ditching what could have been the biggest flotation in London this year, reports The Guardian.

Misys had already slashed the value of its mooted £4.5bn float by £1bn last week due to market nerves.

The company said on Thursday: “Despite encouraging institutional support Misys Group Limited has decided not to proceed with its potential initial public offering at the current time due to market conditions.”

The news came as the boss of O2’s Spanish owner Telefonica cast doubt on the UK mobile firm’s planned £10bn IPO. Mark Evans said the company was “prepared but not committed” to the float and that it would decide next year, depending on market conditions and the state of the UK economy.

As possibility of hard Brexit has increased since last month’s Conservative party conference, sending the pound tumbling, investors have become more concerned about the outlook for UK companies. Sterling has lost 18% of its value since the referendum in June.

Several companies have cancelled or postponed IPOs, including the fitness chain Pure Gym, vehicle part-maker TI Fluid Systems, and the energy provider First Utility. Biffa, the waste management company, recently cut the price of its flotation after failing to get enough investor support.

Misys was delisted four years ago when it was bought by the US private equity firm Vista, which merged Misys with Turaz, previously a software division of Thomson Reuters.

When it unveiled its IPO plans three weeks ago, chief executive Nadeem Syed brushed off the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote. He insisted it was right time for the business to return to the stock market, because of the sweeping regulatory changes facing its banking and financial services customers. The firm says it is cheaper for banks to use its software than to develop their own technology.

The London-based company had planned to use the £500m it expected to raise from the float to pay debts. Misys was founded in 1979 as a computer systems supplier to UK insurance brokers and debuted on the London Stock Exchange in 1990.