Online reviews platform Trustpilot plans $1.4 bln London IPO

By and
British Pound Sterling banknotes are pictured at the Money Service Austria company's headquarters in Vienna
British Pound Sterling banknotes are seen in a box at the Money Service Austria company's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Reviews website Trustpilot is considering an initial public offering (IPO) in London, it said on Monday, as unlisted European companies look to cash in on rampant investor demand for tech shares.

The deal would see at least 25% of the company floated on the London Stock Exchange, Trustpilot said in a registration document. A source familiar with the transaction said the firm was targeting a valuation of around £1 billion ($1.40 billion).

According to the document, the offer would comprise of a sale of new shares raising proceeds of around $50 million, and an offer of existing shares to be sold by certain existing shareholders, directors and employees.

The company is targeting a so-called premium listing on the London bourse and expects to be eligible for inclusion in FTSE UK indices as a result.

Trustpilot's business has grown during the pandemic. It currently manages reviews for more than half a million domains, has 19,500 paying customers and adds more than 12,000 new domains every month, according to chief executive and founder Peter Holten Muehlmann.

"The COVID-19 crisis was a shock and we did have exposure to the travel industry, but consumers started using Trustpilot more because of the huge shift to buying online," Muehlmann told Reuters.

"We saw a huge shift in consumer trends towards the home and garden sector, so we were able to pivot our outreach to that and other thriving industries," he added.

The publication of an "intention to float" -- which would signal the launch of the IPO -- is expected in the near future, and would allow the company to invest in growth and its platform, Muehlmann said.

The deal would be the third major London listing so far in 2021, with classic boot brand Dr Martens (DOCS.L) and online card retailed Moonpig (MOONM.L) completing IPOs earlier this year. read more

Moonpig's shares have risen 39% from their listing price, reflecting strong investor demand for e-commerce and tech companies, both in the UK and in Europe, as the continent plays catch up to a tech listing frenzy in the United States.

JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are global coordinators on the Trustpilot deal and bookrunners along with Berenberg and Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO).

($1 = 0.7166 pounds)

Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan Editing by Rachel Armstrong

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.