Turner & Townsend has shelved plans to float on the stock exchange after failing to achieve its £200m target valuation.
The company issued a statement on Wednesday saying the decision was taken owing to the “unprecedented conditions in the stock market” in recent months. The group had planned to float before the end of March.
Tim Wray, the chairman, said: “The decision to defer is based entirely on current stock market conditions. T&T is a high calibre business and has never been in better shape.”
According to one source, the impact of the credit crunch halved its valuation. They said an initial profit/earnings ratio of 17 had dropped to 9, giving a value of £105m.
Another analyst said: “This is not the time to be floating. Just take a look at the share price of consultancies Cyril Sweett and Baqus.”
Cyril Sweett’s share price had fallen from £1.10 when it floated in October to 87p this week and shares in Baqus were trading at 9.75p on Wednesday, down from its listing price of 12.25p in December.
Geoff Allum, an analyst at KBC, agreed the group had picked a difficult time to float but was “fundamentally sound”.