Friday 13 September 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: You’ve got Mail! IPOs are all the rage

With the heralding of technology and a multiplicity of competing networks, devices and systems in which to communicate letter-writing became all but defunct. Twitter, created in 2006, now boasting over 200 million active users, and has instigated revolutions, dwarfs the 497 year old postal service, both in size and usage. Considering how the growing popularity of Twitter and other digital platforms are directly impacting the decline of Royal Mail's popularity, it’s ironic that both are putting their shares up for sale on the public markets at the same time.

It was all the more ironic because Royal Mail’s privatisation is so long overdue. Just as Royal Mail was enjoying the limelight of announcing its plans, Twitter’s single '$10 billion tweet', set Royal Mail once again into the sidelines and stole its thunder. There have been so many missed opportunities for Royal Mail to go public, such as in 1987 when Margaret Thatcher ruled out the idea. The second opportunity came in 1993 when Michael Heseltine tried to revive the idea.

Had it have been privitised in the 1980s or 1990s it could have had the access to private capital that would have enabled it to expand dramatically and become a real global player in logistics and parcels as is enjoyed by Deutsche Post, privitised by the German government in 2000. This is a market position Royal Mail could once have enjoyed but now can only dream of. Even the figures speak for themselves. Royal Mail’s valuation of a £3billion market capitalisation pales in comparison to Twitter’s £6.3billion valuation. Despite Royal Mail’s big moment being stolen by Twitter the 497 year old organisation will still reap enough benefits from its float.

This week, Abchaps went to the 20/21 British Art Fair at the Royal College of Art in Kensington, sponsored by Faskin Martineau. The fair exhibited hundreds of art works, displaying the cream of the crop with what Great Britain has to offer the art world. Works included the likes of Banksy, Henry Moore and Bridget Riley. We also hosted two Market Lunches, one focusing on China and the other covering fracking and renewables.

Our lawyer friends over at Covington and Burling have welcomed Charlotte Hill as partner from Stephenson Harwood, to specialise in financial regulatory matters. Similarly, Reed Smith has appointed Jonathan Solomon of Denton’s as a partner in its energy and natural resources group. Pillsbury’s IP practice has gained two skilled lawyers, James Tumbridge and Paul Harris, who join from Gowling’s LLP, whilst broking house Panmure Gordon has hired Patric Johnson as head of securities from Investec.

'Spacefiller' – a heavily damaged stamp, often with multiple large faults.

Escape the rain and capture some colour and culture at the London Design Festival. Celebrating London as the deisgn capital of the world, visit one of the 300 exhibitions and events such as the world’s biggest lava lamp at the Southbank Centre or the Endless Stair at Tate Modern.

Great British Bake Off fans should head down to The Cake and Bake Show at Earls Court. Baking stars such as Baker Brother Tom Herbert and master patissier Eric Lanlard will be demonstrating their skills. Also, with offerings of a ‘cake catwalk’ and cake and bake marketplace, how can you refuse this sugary temptation?

Alternatively, head across to Ladbroke Grove for the launch of London’s first alcohol-free bar. With a big collection of tantalising mocktails, Redemption Bar opens to prove fun can be had without the booze!

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