Moonpig shares hog London limelight after £1.2bn market debut

·2-min read

Moonpig shares have risen by up to 25% on their London stock market debut.

The online greeting card and gifts retailer, which has enjoyed a spurt of business during the COVID-19 pandemic as store-based rivals have suffered, floated at 350p-per-share which valued the firm at £1.2bn.

While shares were soon trading at around 440p they closed at 410p - a rise of 17%.

The initial public offering (IPO) marks the second listing of a household name in London this year after Dr Martens shares surged when its stock came to market on Friday last week.

The flotations will spur confidence as Deliveroo and Darktrace - the cyber security firm backed by tech entrepreneur Dr Mike Lynch - are expected to follow suit in the coming months.

In Moonpig's case, the company sold around 5.7 million in new shares while existing shareholders' interests made up the bulk of the offer.

Those reducing their stakes included private equity firms and Hampshire County Council.

Nickyl Raithatha, the company's chief executive, said ahead of the listing: "We are confident that Moonpig Group will continue to make gifting even more effortless for millions of people across the UK and internationally.

"As the leaders of a market undergoing an accelerating shift to online, now is the perfect time for us to bring the company to the public market, and we are excited about Moonpig's prospects for the future."

PitchBook analyst, Dominick Mondesir, reflected: "'The short-term performance of the Moonpig IPO reflects equity investors' willingness to pay for growth, especially for tech-enabled assets.

"The stock was priced at the top end of its valuation range and surged in its first day of trading.

"The challenge for Moonpig and its private equity owner - who are heavily reliant on post-IPO performance due to lock up periods - will be executing on an M&A and organic strategy that allows the company to grow into its lofty valuation once earnings normalize and a sense of normalcy resumes through lifting lockdowns."