Deliveroo eyes $10.5 billion listing after some funds steer clear

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FILE PHOTO: A courier for food delivery service Deliveroo rides a bike in central Brussels

By Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) -Food delivery company Deliveroo will price its initial public offering at 390 pence per share, banks working on the deal said on Tuesday, at the bottom end of a previously indicated range for the food delivery group.

That would indicate an overall valuation of 7.6 billion pounds ($10.46 billion), less than initially expected, after a string of major UK fund managers said they would not take part, citing concerns about its dual class share structure and its gig economy business model.

The listing is covered multiple times over, the bookrunners said, with the deal expected to close at 1200 GMT.

“Given volatile global market conditions for IPOs, Deliveroo is choosing to price responsibly and at an entry point that maximises long-term value for our new institutional and retail investors,” a spokesperson for Deliveroo said.

The listing of London-based company, founded by boss William Shu in 2013, is set to be London’s biggest IPO since Glencore’s in May 2011 and also the biggest tech float on the London Stock Exchange.

Heavyweight investors Aberdeen Standard Life, Aviva, Legal & General Investment Management and M&G have all said they will sit the deal out, amid criticism of its workers’ rights.

Some of them also question whether the loss-making business can ever justify its valuation.

Having initially looked for up to 8.8 billion pounds, the British tech firm on Monday went with a narrower price range, indicating a maximum valuation of up to 7.85 billion pounds, citing market volatility.

Deliveroo’s self-employed drivers have seen a boom in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing food from otherwise-shuttered restaurants to housebound customers.

($1 = 0.7266 pounds)

(Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens)

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