01 April 2014

What Price for IPO plc's Shares at its IPO?

The Royal Mail's Privatization was too cautious according to the National
Audit Office. Will Vince Cable ask too much for the shares of IPO Plc?




















Ever since the announcement by Viscount Younger of Leckie that the Intellectual Property Office is to be privatized, there has been intense speculation in the City as to what the price that the shares will be offered to the public upon the agency's privatization. Originally it was rumoured that the price would be 255p but following the National Audit Office's criticism of the Royal Mail Privatization analysts now believe that it could be set very much higher. A figure of 375p has been suggested by some analysts, especially after the IPO's staff received tempting offers from the Bogof hedge fund.

According to the South Wales Argus and the Western Mail there has been a rush of enquiries for top of the range models at Sytner the luxury car distributor for Newport.  Jewellers and pubs in the town have also noticed an upturn in business.  When I was last last in Newport for a performance by Ballet Cymru I met two of them whom I know only as Lawrence and Gary in The Dragonfly at Lakeside Drive who insisted on plying me with drinks all evening while singing "We're in the Money" somewhat out of tune.

So what sort of business is IPO Plc? According to its latest report and accounts its turnover was nearly £74 million in 2013 which generated an operating surplus of £8.3 million. Renewal fees for British and European patents generated the lion's share of that revenue of over £50 million with trade mark applications providing a further £10 million. Analysts believe that there is scope for developing the publications and commercial services side of the business which contributed only £138,000 and £187,000 respectively in the IPO's last year as a government entity.

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