Bad luck for Stelios as EasyHotel IPO gets difficult

IPO WATCH: London's IPO market has proven too frothy for even veteran entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, whose company, EasyHotel, will raise half the amount it originally planned when it lists.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 02 Feb 2016

When is a £60m IPO not a £60m IPO? When it's a £30m IPO, as announced by EasyHotel this morning. The company, founded by His Easiness Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, will raise £30m instead of the £60m it originally proposed when it lists on AIM, London's junior market, on Monday. Although that still values it at £50m. Better than a kick in the teeth.

Here's the science bit: the company will sell 44.3% of its shareholding, while EasyGroup (Stelios' company) will hang on to 55.7%. The money it raises from the listing will go towards creating new hotels.

There's an interesting quote from chief executive Simon Champion in the FT: he said that 'people do talk about IPO fatigue', and although 'we are very different from that' (he has to say that), 'we're not immune to sentiment'. So this was clearly not an easy (Easy?) judgement call.

Stelios himself said the IPO will 'allow me to step back from the company' (like he's stepped back from EasyJet, you mean?) and 'focus on continuing my diversification strategy into other business and philanthropic activities'.

He also added that 'I anticipate I will remain a significant and supportive shareholder for a very long time'. Sounds rather sinister to us. We wouldn't want to be in Champion's shoes right now...

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