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Deliveroo lowers IPO valuation by £1bn

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Written by: Emma Lunn
29/03/2021
The takeaway food delivery firm will price its initial public offering (IPO) towards the bottom of its intended price range, due to ‘volatile’ market conditions.

Deliveroo shares are now likely to be priced between £3.90 and £4.10, as opposed to up to £4.60 as announced last week.

This puts Deliveroo’s top end valuation at about £7.85bn, down from £8.8bn.

Deliveroo announced earlier this month that existing customers, restaurants, grocers, and riders would have the chance to apply for shares under a ‘community offer’. This is now open for applications.

The re-pricing comes after some of the UK’s major fund managers said they wouldn’t be buying Deliveroo shares due to concerns about the way the company treats its workers. Many delivery riders earn less than the minimum wage because they are classed as self-employed rather than employees.

L&G, M&G, Aviva Investors, BMO Global, CCLA and Edentree have all gone public with their opposition to the float.

Ketan Patel, fund manager of the EdenTree Sustainable and Responsible UK Equity fund, said: “EdenTree will not be investing in a business model which has little to commend for ESG investors, where the relationship between capital and labour is so asymmetrical. The rise of the S in ESG during the pandemic has highlighted social inequity and injustice within society. The Deliveroo business model is best characterised as a race to the bottom with employees in the main treated as disposable assets which is the very antithesis of a sustainable business model.

“For those investors who argue that only change can be brought by investing and engaging with management, we would urge caution as this approach has yielded little or no progress in businesses that are built around exploitative practices. To amend or remove these practices will leave a highly unprofitable business model and one that will not appeal to any investor. From an investment perspective, the threat of regulatory change remains the biggest issue for long-term investors and Uber is a real example of how fast the regulatory landscape can change, rendering the business model null and void.”

Thousands of Uber drivers will soon benefit from employment rights on issues such as wages, holiday pay and pension contributions after the firm lost a court case about whether its drivers are independent contractors or employees. 

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