2021 was an extremely strong year for UK equity capital markets, which continue to demonstrate their enduring appeal and value to investors and businesses internationally.

Key drivers behind the increase in the volume of IPOs this season include many London Stock Exchange (LSE) newcomers benefitting from pent up investor demand built over the COVID-19 period and relatively strong equity market conditions.

Outlook for 2022

The IPO pipeline remains exceptionally strong for 2022. Despite inflation worries and other macro headwinds exist, we expect the positive momentum of the last 12 months to continue with IPOs anticipated to be delivered both by private issuers and through public company demergers.

ESG will continue to grow in importance for shareholders in the aftermath of COP26. However, the lesson from 2021 is that all IPO candidates must clearly communicate their ESG impact to potential investors as part of their equity story and IPO diligence, forming a key focus of pre-IPO readiness.

Key highlights

  • A total of 108 companies came to market in London in 2021, more than 2020 (38) and 2019 (35) combined
  • 53 companies listed on the Main Market in 2021, the most in any year since 2017
  • AIM IPOs have dramatically increased over the last year, jumping from 16 in 2020 to 55 in 2021
  • Total IPO funds raised in London were £13.9 billion

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