Iceland owner ditches London market move over Brexit

Brait, the South African firm that owns supermarket Iceland, fashion chain New Look and gym group Virgin Active, has ditched plans for a London stock market listing because of Brexit.

Iceland owner Brait blamed its decision on Brexit uncertainty. Picture: PA Wire

The group said last year that it planned to move its primary listing to London, but today announced that it will not proceed “in light of the uncertainty introduced by the timing and form of Brexit”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brait is backed by South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese, who also owns Poundland.

The firm said: “While the board remains convinced of the long-term benefits to the company of a transfer to the United Kingdom and a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange, in light of the uncertainty introduced by the timing and form of Brexit and the potential impact on capital markets, the board has determined not to proceed with the transfer and premium listing at this time.”

The group’s decision follows a spate of other firms also pulling initial public offering (IPO) plans after the Brexit vote. Misys, TI Fluid Systems and fitness firm Pure Gym also abandoned plans to float last year.

Wiese’s other investment vehicle, Steinhoff, last year warned the collapse in the value of sterling following the EU referendum could have an adverse impact on its British businesses.