Stockbroker hits out over Card Factory IPO

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VETERAN STOCKBROKER Keith Loudon has voiced his dismay that retail investors will be unable to buy shares in Card Factory’s initial public offering.

The senior partner of Redmayne Bentley contacted The Yorkshire Post yesterday after the Wakefield company announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange to complain that the IPO will only be open to institutional investors.

Mr Loudon said: “This company depends on customers walking into a shop and buying a card.

“The company should have more respect for its customers.”

He insisted that it is a privilege for a company to have a flotation and added that a successful market should have the widest possible participation.

Mr Loudon said it is important in a capital-owning democracy for retail investors to be able to buy shares.

“There is a theory that of every new issue that comes to the market, 20-25 per cent should be reserved for the general public,” he added.

Mr Loudon has raised concerns with the London Stock Exchange about other IPOs that were open only to institutional investors.

Recent examples include retailers Poundland, Boohoo.com, McColl’s, AO.com and Polypipe, the Yorkshire-based pipe manufacturer.

In response, Richard Hayes, chief executive of Card Factory, said the company likes to keep things as simple and cost effective as possible.

“This was the best way of keeping it relatively straightforward and manage the cost,” he added.

The Financial Conduct Authority is ultimately responsible for the supervision of all listings on the London Stock Exchange.

A spokesman for the FCA declined to comment.