The company behind the proposed London Tunnels tourist attraction has dropped plans to list on the London Stock Exchange in favour of an IPO on Amsterdam’s Euronext in the latest blow to the capital’s public markets.

The firm today confirmed its intentions to raise £30 million on the Dutch bourse in a flotation that was set to value the company at £130 million.

The London Tunnels company first made plans to list in London last year, the Standard earlier revealed. In November, the company changed its name to London Tunnels Plc and restructured its shares pending “admission…and trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market,” Company House filings show. But the firm later explored options for listing elsewhere amid a dearth in IPOs in London, settling on Amsterdam’s Euronext.Angus Murray, Chief Executive Officer of The London Tunnels, said: “The London Tunnels can now take advantage of the size and scale of both the equity capital markets and debt capital markets of Europe.

“The listing on Euronext, Europe’s largest regulated stock exchange, is in the best long-term interests of the company, its shareholders and the future ambitions for the development of the project in Central London.”

Companies worth about £100 billion are on the way out of the London Stock Exchange so far this year, either by being bought up or via moving the main home for their shares overseas, and experts fear there is much more to come.

Research by the Evening Standard and investment bank Peel Hunt shows that companies worth over £26 billion have already agreed to be sold in 2024, to other listed firms or private equity. Chief executives are expressing frustration with relatively low valuations for major companies in London, especially compared with those on offer at arch-rival New York.

The Kingsway Exchange tunnels, an expanse of 8,000 sq m of passageways several hundred feet below High Holborn, were shrouded in mystery for most of the 20th century with details covered by the government’s Official Secrets Act, because of their wartime role as a base for MI6 officials.The site is now set to be transformed into a museum exploring their history after it was bought by London Tunnels last year.

It is hoped that as many as two million visitors a year will visit the attraction site after it is converted into a high-tech immersive experience with giant curved immersive screens, interactive structures, scent-emitting technology and hundreds of individual acoustic pinpoint speakers.

The firm behind the plans hopes to invest £140 million into restoring, preserving and fitting out the site, as well as a further £80 million allocated to installing the interactive screens, with a view to opening the attraction in 2027.

The company cleared its first hurdle towards building the attraction earlier this month after it secured planning permission from the City of London Corporation. The proposals will also need approval by Camden Council, with a decision expected in July.

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2024-06-24T06:52:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd