Marex seeks US listing following failed UK IPO, eyes $2.8B valuation

abdelaziz Fathi

London-headquartered commodities broker Marex has kicked off plans for a US listing, opting against a London public float after a failed attempt two years ago.

On Friday, Marex announced its intention to debut on the New York stock market, following its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company is reportedly targeting a valuation between $2.2 billion and $2.8 billion, well higher than its previous London Stock Exchange listing attempt in 2021.

Private equity group JRJ, along with partners Trilantic Europe and BXR Group, have held the majority stake in Marex for over a decade and are looking to profit from the listing. The company employs around 1,800 people and is among the exclusive group of eight brokers permitted to trade on the historic London Metal Exchange trading floor.

The proposed IPO marks an early indicator of US investor interest in new listings, following a subdued 2023 characterized by decreased valuations and heightened market instability that deterred public offerings.

Marex’s choice of New York over London represents a setback for the latter, especially after the financial services group evaluated both markets for its renewed public offering plans. The 2021 IPO was abandoned due to unfavorable market conditions. It also adds to a series of letdowns for the London stock market this year, which has seen diminished trading volumes and challenges in attracting and retaining listings.

Several companies have shifted from the LSE to New York, citing the US’s contribution to their revenues and generally higher stock market valuations. London-listed broker Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) said it is considering a listing on a U.S. stock exchange following the City watchdog’s plans to shake up the rules companies must follow to list on the London Stock Exchange.

One of the changes proposed by the FCA is to allow companies to ignore best practices on corporate governance and still avoid being listed as “premium.” The FCA also aims to simplify regulations to make the UK more competitive with foreign stock markets and make it easier for candidate companies to enter the market. Additionally, there may be greater tolerance of dual-class shares and an exemption from holding votes on acquisitions. However, some are concerned that these changes could undermine shareholder rights.

Since JRJ’s acquisition in 2010, Marex has expanded through strategic acquisitions, growing its clearing, risk, and pricing technology services. This included acquiring competitor ED&F Man Capital Markets last year, which bolstered its US operations, now comparable in size to its traditionally dominant European segment.

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