FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain March 3, 2021. Tolga Akmen/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) -British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he was not embarrassed by the plunge in the shares of Deliveroo ROO.L in their trading debut on Wednesday, after he endorsed the company as a British success story.
Shares in food delivery service Deliveroo plunged by as much as 30%, slicing more than 2 billion pounds ($2.76 billion) off the company’s valuation in a blow to Britain’s ambitions to attract fast-growing tech companies to the London market.
The highly-anticipated listing, the biggest on the London market in a decade, had earlier been hailed by Sunak as a “true British tech success story” that could clear the way for more initial public offerings (IPO) by technology companies.
Sunak was on Wednesday asked by ITV political editor Robert Peston if he now felt embarrassed. He said: “Gosh, no… share prices go up, share prices go down. We should celebrate success in this country.”
“You talk about Deliveroo, I think I remember Facebook when it first IPO’d – I think the share price halved over the next few months, and then obviously we all know what happened after that.”
Some of Britain’s biggest investment companies shunned Deliveroo’s listing, citing concerns about gig-economy working conditions and the share structure.
($1 = 0.7251 pounds)
Reporting by Andy Bruce, additional Abhinav Ramnarayan; editing by William James