Upcoming IPOs in 2022: which companies are planning to list this year?

Rupert Hargreaves explains what an IPO is, how public and private companies differ, and picks out some of the more notable companies set to list on the stock exchange this year.

Initial public offerings (IPOs), new share issues and launches are methods companies and fund managers use to raise money. By issuing shares or stock units to the public, and allowing them to trade on an exchange, companies and funds can raise additional capital. 

A freely tradable stock can also allow founders and existing investors to cash out at a potentially higher valuation than they might otherwise be able to achieve. Moreover, as IPOs tend to receive a lot of press coverage they can help a company raise its profile. This can be good from a public relations perspective and can help the business build its reputation among consumers. 

In a typical IPO, a private company will hire an investment bank (such as Goldman Sachs) to manage the process and drum up interest from its clients to buy the newly issued shares. The bank may also “underwrite” the issue, essentially stepping into the market to make sure all of the new shares find a home (it will then sell the stock on the open market at a later date). 

The aim of using an investment bank to manage an IPO is to increase interest in the offering and make sure the demand for the shares exceeds supply, pushing the stock above the offering price.

Public vs private companies

Most companies start off as private businesses. Therefore they will have to go through the IPO process at some point if they want to become a public company.

The main difference between public and private companies is the fact that public company shares are freely traded on an exchange. Public enterprises usually have to comply with stricter regulations and reporting requirements than private businesses. 

For example, every public business must publish an annual report showing its income, balance sheet and cash flow statements. Most private businesses do not have to provide this level of information. 

As IPOs tend to be quite expensive, other methods for private companies to come to market have been developed over the past few years. 

In a “reverse merger”, a private company acquires a publicly-listed company without raising capital, which simplifies and streamlines the process. Another method is the direct listing. Under this method a private company sells its existing shares to the public without creating new ones, removing the need for an investment bank to act as an intermediary. “Special purpose acquisition companies” – Spacs – have also become popular in the US in particular. 

Are IPOs a good investment?

IPOs are not necessarily great investments. Many new listings jump in price on their first day of dealing, but it can be tough for individual investors to capitalise on this bounce as investment bankers and insiders are usually first in line to receive shares. 

What’s more, as a company is usually trying to list at the highest price possible, it can be an expensive way to buy into an investment. As the US investor Warren Buffett once said, IPOs come “with an informed seller thinking it's a pretty good time to go public.” That means it’s not very likely that investors will be able to bag a bargain, although this does not necessarily apply to direct listings and reverse mergers.

Below is a list of notable upcoming IPOs. This is just a guide and may change depending on market conditions, deal structures and regulations, among other factors.

Upcoming UK IPOs

Company

Description

Potential IPO date

Spiritus Mundi

A special purpose acquisition company (Spac) looking to acquire clinical diagnostics firms in Europe and Asia

H1 2022

Psych Capital

Psychedelic medicines media and investment company

H1 2022

UK potential IPOs

Company

Description

Potential IPO date

EG Group

One of the largest petrol station and convenience store owners in the world backed by the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital

Not stated

Monzo

The digital bank that has seen explosive growth in the past few years. It first announced that it was looking at an IPO in 2021

Not stated

BrewDog

The UK's biggest craft beer maker is planning to go public with a potential valuation of as much as £2bn

2023

Jaguar Land Rover

The UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer. Its parent, Tata Motors, is considering an IPO to raise money for the group's expansion into electric vehicles

Not stated

Hawksmoor

The steakhouse group was planning to IPO in 2022 but has delayed plans

2023

Starling

The digital bank's CEO has stated that it is looking to hit the public markets at some time in the next two years

2022-2023

Huel

Plant-based meal replacement maker hired bankers to look at an IPO last year as sales jumped past £100m

Not stated

Snowfox Group

The sushi chain Yo!'s parent company has been lining up bankers for a £750m IPO sometime in the next year

2022-2023

Virgin Atlantic

Richard Branson's flagship Virgin Group business was planning an IPO in early 2022, but is holding fire as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic

Not stated

US/international potential IPOs 

Company 

Description

Potential IPO date

Stripe

Digital payments provider Stripe is reportedly planning a direct listing over a traditional IPO having last raised funding in 2021 at a $95bn valuation

2022-2023

Mobileye

Israeli autonomous vehicle business currently owned by Intel. Its technology is used in more than 100 million cars worldwide

Not stated

TikTok Global

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, has been exploring an IPO, although Beijing's regulatory crackdown has repeatedly delayed plans

Not stated

Instacart

Grocery delivery unicorn Instacart filed to go public at the beginning of May after revenues hit $1.5bn in 2020

2022

Databricks

Enterprise software company Databricks is capitalising on the booming market for software services, which is expected to hit $130bn by 2025

Not stated

Starlink

There's no timeline for this at present, but Elon Musk's satellite company could spin-off from parent company SpaceX

Not stated

Discord

Online chat start-up Discord had been in talks to be acquired by Microsoft in a $10bn deal, although it now looks as if it will pursue an IPO

Not stated

Reddit

The social network and message board recently hired its first CFO as it prepares for a public listing

Not stated

Impossible Foods

The market for plant-based substitutes for meat products has been booming in recent years. Impossible Foods is a leader in the sector

Not stated

Graphcore

UK semiconductor company raised new funding last year prior to a potential IPO, according to its management

Not stated

Kraken

The cryptocurrency exchange is expected to list this year and recently hired Carrie Dolan as a new CFO. Dolan managed Lending Club's initial public offering in 2014

2022

Polestar

Polestar will go public through a merger with blank-cheque firm Gores Guggenheim

2022

Houzz

The home design website and community has hired Goldman Sachs to prepare for its IPO

2022-2023

Revolut

Revolut, touted as the UK’s biggest fintech company, has recently started looking for an investor relations team ahead of a possible IPO 

Not stated

Klarna

The buy now, pay later company has said it's looking to list, depending on market conditions

2022-2023

Arm Holdings

The semiconductor company is reportedly working on a IPO which could value the business at $75bn

2022-2023

Porsche

The German luxury sports car manufacturer is in talks to debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange towards the end of 2022

2022

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