Food delivery giant Deliveroo could be announcing its plans to float on the stock market early next month, it has been reported, in a move that could raise more than £2bn ($2.6bn).
The company and its advisers have marked 8 March as the date to publish their intention to float, and shares could start trading weeks later, Sky News reported.
However, the report added "insiders" said the date was not set in stone and the schedule remained subject to change. The publication said around six investment banks are working on the flotation, with Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM) set to lead the stock market debut.
A Deliveroo spokesperson told Yahoo Finance: “We do not comment on speculation.”
Rumours of a listing have been circulating since September. At the time, it was reported people familiar with the matter had said discussions were in their preliminary stages.
Last month a report said its latest fundraising round valued the takeaway firm at more than £5.1bn.
The company had raised $180m from its investors, including from minority stakeholder Amazon (AMZN).
Deliveroo also said at the time it had beefed up its board with the appointment of Simon Wolfson, the former chief of retailer Next (NXT.L), as a non-executive director, a move that was widely seen as IPO preparation.
"A bumper flotation will provide liquidity to many of Deliveroo's longest-standing shareholders, with notable names on its investor register including the private equity firm Bridgepoint and the institutional investors Fidelity and T Rowe Price," the Sky News report said.
Deliveroo’s heavy investment in technology led to a loss of £319.9m in 2019, which forced the company to take out a short-term £198m loan to mitigate the losses.
But since then, the coronavirus pandemic saw a significant rise in appetite for online food delivery. This supercharged Deliveroo, more than doubling its revenues in the UK and Ireland and pushing it into operating profitability during the second and third quarters of 2020.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Deliveroo urged the government for a return of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme once the hospitality sector is allowed to open its doors, in a letter to the prime minister that has also been signed by 330 other restaurants.
The letter, signed by the likes of itsu, Pizza Hut and Shake Shack (SHAK) among others, said the scheme had been crucial in allowing restaurants to survive last year.
“The boost the scheme provided not only helped protect restaurants from closure but also showed customers the work we have done to make sure they are safe and can get back to enjoying great food. We encourage the Government to consider a rerun of this innovative scheme when it is safe to do so,” the letter said.
Watch: Deliveroo adds JP Morgan to recipe for London flotation