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London Tunnels delivers blow to the City as it opts for Amsterdam IPO

An image of how the tunnels may look after redevelopment
An image of how the tunnels may look after redevelopment Copyright From London Tunnels website
Copyright From London Tunnels website
By Indrabati Lahiri
Published on Updated
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The company is the latest in a string of high-profile names to turn its back on the London Stock Exchange, in favour of other exchanges in the US and elsewhere in Europe.

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London Tunnels, the company aiming to convert an 8,000 square metres central London underground network of abandoned tunnels, known as the Kingsway Exchange, into a new historical attraction, has recently revealed that it would be listing in Amsterdam, instead of the UK capital. 

This decision comes just a few months after the company told the London Stock Exchange that it was interested in going public in London.

At the time, London Tunnels’ chief executive Angus Murray highlighted that given the fundamentally British nature of the tunnels, due to a British owner, and their revival being for the good of London tourism, London Tunnels should, naturally, list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 

However, since then, the company has revealed that the decision to list in Amsterdam is so that it can take full advantage of the entire range and scale of the European capital market, an opportunity which the London Stock Exchange, in its current weakened situation, may struggle to provide. The company is expecting to raise about £30 million (€35.56 million). 

The Kingsway revival project is located under Holborn, in central London and is expected to be opened to the public in 2027, and could potentially see up to 2 million visitors annually. 

In a statement, Angus Murray said: “We are delighted to announce the upcoming listing of our shares on Euronext Amsterdam. We believe a public listing of The London Tunnels is the logical next step, improving our ability to raise further capital over the coming years to support the company’s growth strategy and create long-term value. 

“The London Tunnels can now take advantage of the size and scale of both the equity capital markets and debt capital markets of Europe. The listing on Euronext, Europe’s largest regulated stock exchange, is in the best long-term interests of the company, its shareholders and the future ambitions for the development of the project in central London.”

Peter Curtin, chairman of The London Tunnels also said, “The listing of The London Tunnels on the leading pan-European market will give investors the opportunity to acquire shares in what is likely to be the last major historical and heritage attraction that can be reopened in central London. The Tunnels could be set to become one of London’s major tourist attractions, providing visitors with an exciting educational, cultural and heritage experience.” 

What does this mean for the UK stock market?

The UK stock market has seen a turbulent few months, with a number of high profile companies such as Arm Holdings, Flutter Entertainment, CRH and Smurfit Kappa having announced plans to delist from the London Stock Exchange, in order to list elsewhere, mostly in the US. 

This, in turn, has caused considerable anxiety and turmoil amongst both institutional and retail investors, who have lost significant confidence in the UK stock market and the country’s near-term economic prospects. 

Now, with a company rooted so deeply in British history like London Tunnels, also choosing a foreign stock exchange, this investor anxiety could potentially get even worse. Fortunately, the LSE has also had some positive news in recent weeks in the form of companies like Raspberry Pi and Shein choosing to list in the UK. 

However, concerns have been expressed about Shein, its business model and its production practices. 

Dan Coatsworth, an investment analyst at AJ Bell said: “Theoretically, Shein listing in London should be good for the UK market and could attract other fast-growing names in e-commerce. London Stock Exchange would be shouting from the rooftops, saying it’s a real coup to get such a big name on the market. 

“But in a world where investors demand transparency, high levels of governance and companies to be good corporate citizens, you have to wonder whether Shein will pass all the tests with flying colours.” 

 

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