CVC Capital Partners has reportedly hired Rothschild to explore a London listing of Avast Software, which could value the company at as much as £3 billion. The buyout firm took control of the cybersecurity specialist in 2014 and is considering a flotation early next year, based on the market environment.
The news comes at an interesting time for buyout investors in Europe looking to exit. While there were some successful listings of PE-backed companies over the summer (albeit
not in countries you might expect), a number of planned portfolio company IPOs were cancelled or postponed this year. Indeed, just last week, the Baupost-backed ready meals business Bakkavor pulled the plug on an IPO which could have reportedly valued the business at around £1.5 billion. And, according to the PitchBook Platform, three of the five largest failed or cancelled PE-backed floats in the world this year are European.
With this in mind, here's a closer look at the continent's biggest failed PE-backed floats so far this year:
Arqiva (£1.5 billion—UK)
The TV and mobile mast operator announced plans to float a portion of the company for £1.5 billion in October. The share sale could have valued the business, which counts the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Macquarie among its investors, at as much as £6 billion.
Two weeks later, however, the company said that it intends to postpone its IPO until market conditions in the UK improve.
Lecta (€315 million—Spain)
The fine-paper manufacturer, also backed by CVC, had planned to raise €315 million by floating in Spain over the summer. The IPO was then shelved after the book-building process reportedly failed to attract much interest, even after the price range for the shares had been narrowed.
TMF (£300 million—UK)
The DH Private Equity Partners-backed professional services company announced in October its intention to raise £300 million from a share listing in London that would have seen it achieve a valuation reportedly north of £1 billion.
A few days later, however, DH agreed to sell the company, which is based in Amsterdam, to CVC for €1.75 billion.