Infrastructure Public Private Partnership specialist John Laing has announced public flotation

John Laing plans initial public offering

Infrastructure investment firm John Laing has announced plans to list on the London stock market to raise about £130m for new investment and US expansion.

John Laing, which was taken private by investment firm Henderson in 2007, could be valued at up to £1bn in the deal, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The firm deals mainly in Public Private Partnerships (PPP), where private investors fund and deliver government projects, and has expanded into continental Europe and Australia as well as the United States.

"It's been subdued in the last couple of years in the UK," said the company’s CEO Olivier Brousse. "But we believe that there is so much infrastructure to be built that government will need the private sector to fund the projects and also deliver them."

John Laing's projects include the 60,000-seat New Perth Stadium in Australia and Britain's £4.7bn Intercity Express Programme to build new trains. The firm had an investment portfolio book value of £781m as of 30 September last year.

The model of contracting out public projects to private firms has proved controversial in the past, with critics saying some have resulted in poor deals for taxpayers and left governments unable to renegotiate contracts following the global recession.

John Laing only invests and manages new projects, including hospitals, train lines and bridges. The firm has taken on over 100 projects in the past three decades.

The firm's issue will consist of new and existing shares. The initial public offering (IPO) is being run by Barclays and HSBC. RBC Capital Markets is acting as lead manager, while Greenhill is financial adviser.

Consulting firm McKinsey has estimated that $57tn of global infrastructure investment is needed between 2013 and 2030 as the world grapples with a growing population and the congestion of existing infrastructure, as well as rising energy needs.

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