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Financial data provider Markit shuns London and files for New York IPO

Candy Crush-creator King did the same in March

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The London Stock Exchange received a blow over the bank holiday weekend as yet another UK technology firm unveiled plans for a US stock market listing. 

Financial information provider Markit, whose price data forms the basis for much of the global derivatives and bond markets, said yesterday that it intends to list in New York, where it is expected to raise at least $750 million (£444 million), giving it a $5 billion (£3 billion) valuation.

Markit, founded in 2003 by former bond trader Lance Uggla in his St Albans garden shed, becomes the second high-profile UK tech firm to list in the US this year. 

Marcus Stuttard who heads up the UK Primary Markets and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) at the London Stock Exchange claimed in January that tech companies can raise just as much money in London as they can in New YorkBut Takeaway delivery service JustEat, home appliance retailer and fashion retailer are the only large internet-focussed companies to list in the UK this year.

TechMarketView chairman Richard Holway said: "I was really disappointed to learn that Markit has gone for a US listing rather than in London. This is the second major UK tech (using the term loosely) IPO that has chosen not to float in the LSE after King of Candy Crush fame.

"Latest results show revenues of $948 million and profits of $211 million in FY to 31 Dec 2013. So the valuation is not as frothy as some we have seen of late."

It is not yet clear whether Markit will choose Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange and final details of how many shares will be offered in the listing are being finalised.

In addition to selling financial data, Markit offers enterprise data management software and analytics software to banks, hedge funds, accounting firms, exchanges and central banks. 

Markit's US float is understood to have been delayed because the company has been under investigation by the European Commission this year over possible antitrust issues related to its business in the credit-default swap market. 

The company acknowledged the investigation in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last night, admitting that it is a risk for potential investors. 

“We are subject to ongoing antitrust investigations and litigation arising from activities in the credit default swaps markets, and may in future become subject to further investigations and litigation,” the company said.

“An adverse outcome in these investigations or litigation could... have a material adverse effect on our business.”

Markit’s float is being handled by a group of 14 banks including Barclays and Credit Suisse, who are all stakeholders in the company.


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