Atom Bank suspends float after raising £30m from investors

Atom Bank has delayed its IPO by at least two years after seeking backers for another £30m, giving it a post-deal valuation of £460m.

The Durham-based fast-growing online lender is now targeting a “liquidity event” in 2024 or 2025, having previously forecast 2022 or 2023. A liquidity event could be an initial public offering on the stock market or a commercial sale.

Mark Mullen, 54, its chief executive, said stock market conditions had deteriorated. “I don’t hear anyone in the market talking about going public next year,” he said, adding that there were now many more questions about the UK’s economic prospects after the recent political turmoil.

One of the first digital-only challengers to win a banking license, Atom has been a beacon of the fintech sector. Launched in 2016, it has 165,000 registered customers, £4.7bn in deposits and a loan book of £2.9bn. It pioneered new practices in the workplace, being one of the first major employers to move its 470 employees to a four-day week without loss of pay.

The capital raising was done at the same price per share as in February 2022 which raised £75 million. Atom’s two largest shareholders, BBVA, the Spanish banking group, and Toscafund, the private equity firm, increased their holdings. The Schroder UK Public Private Trust, the renowned vehicle of the collapsed Woodford empire, which owned 11 percent, was not involved.

Mullen said Atom was in good shape, with just 0.1 per cent of its £1.9bn national mortgage book in default. Only 11 corporate borrowers in the £1bn loan book were in default, he said.

Atom had been “advancing on break even” for several quarters, Mullen added. “We want to give it a little more growth.”

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