Wizz Air Said to Be Eyeing LSE Float
iNVEZZ.com, Friday, July 5th: Wizz Air, Eastern Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) in London later in 2013, Bloomberg has reported. The budget airline is also said to have appointed a trio of City names – Barclays (LON:BARC), Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co – to manage the floatation. Barclays’ share price was marginally up in early trading in London today.
**Barclays, Citi and JPMorgan to Manage Wizz Air London IPO?**
Yesterday, Bloomberg quoted inside sources as saying that the Wizz Air IPO could happen as early as the second half of 2013, and that the three banks had been appointed for the floatation. The Independent reported today that the potential London IPO could value the carrier at around £800 million.
Hungary-based Wizz Air has a fleet of more than 40 Airbus planes, flying more than 250 routes in Europe, and is trying to double its traffic to 25 million passengers a year by 2020. The budget airline, created in 2003, uses Luton as its base in the UK. As The Independent noted, Wizz Air is currently backed by institutions including the German transport-focused bank DNV.
A Wizz Air spokesman and spokesmen for the three banks had declined to comment on the potential IPO, Bloomberg said.
The airline will join rivals such as easyJet Plc (LON:EZJ) and Ryanair Holdings Plc (LON:RYA) which are also listed in London. easyJet’s share price was less than one percent higher in early trading today, while Ryanair’s share price was marginally down.
!m[Barclays, Citigroup and JPMorgan Reportedly Appointed to Run Wizz Air IPO](/uploads/story/3698/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
The Wizz Air IPO could come at a similar time to the expected listing of state-backed Royal Mail in the autumn, and the float of vodka maker Stock Spirits. Other companies reported as planning a listing are estate agency chain Foxtons and Merlin Entertainments, which owns Thorpe Park and Alton Towers.
According to Bloomberg data, issuers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have raised about $12 billion (£8 billion) in IPOs so far this year, more than double the amount sold in the same period of 2012.
**Barclays’s share price was 0.41 percent up at 293.90p in London as of 08:32 BST on 5 July 2013. easyJet’s share price was 0.33 percent up at 1,371.48. Ryanair’s share price was 0.59 percent down at €7.43.**