A planned £2.5bn float of industrial supplies group Rubix has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. The company had been hoping to list in the first quarter of the year.
Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Goldmans are understood to have been signed up to run the float. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has sent share prices plunging and markets into disarray, meaning the hoped-for valuation is seen as impossible to achieve in the current climate.
A source close to the company described the initial marketing phase of the IPO as “well received”, but the decision to shelve the deal had been driven by the coronavirus situation.
The company’s international supply chain is thought to have been hard hit by factories being shut down in China and Italy, with more recent border closures adding to the pressure.
A float could be revived later in the year, but with so much uncertainty around the long-term impact of coronavirus this was far form certain.
“We are just at the start of coronavirus in Europe,” said one source. “It’s just too early to say what will happen now.”
Rubix is owned by Advent, the private equity group that recently bought aerospace and defence company Cobham after a bitter £4bn takeover battle.
London-based Rubix has about 8,000 staff spread over 650 outlets in 22 countries who design, install and maintain industrial manufacturing and processing systems. The company’s 220,000 customers include businesses in the aerospace, automotive and food production industries.
Rubix was formed 2017 when Advent merged Brammer, which it took private the previous year in a £220m deal, with French rival IPH that was acquired from private equity firm PAI Partners.
The combined business has an annual turnover of €2.3bn according to its most recent accounts, generating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €191m. A spokesman for Rubix declined to comment.