Amazon-backed Deliveroo shares rally on first full trading day as riders get ready to strike


Shares in Deliveroo
ROO,
+2.36%

rose almost 3% on Wednesday — the first day an estimated 70,000 retail investors were allowed to trade the stock they bought during the food delivery company’s disastrous stock market debut.

Deliveroo’s stock rose 3.16% to 288.86 pence in early morning London trading on Wednesday as unconditional trading in the stock began.

That is still well below the 390 pence a share at which it launched its IPO last week, which valued the Amazon
AMZN,
-0.09%

-backed company at £7.6 billion.

Read: Amazon-backed Deliveroo’s shares slump 30% on London stock market debut

Deliveroo’s stock market debut was meant to be a victory for the LSE, which has been trying to attract tech listings post-Brexit to compete with rival exchanges in the U.S. and other European financial centres including Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

But it ended up as a failure, with the stock closing down 26% at 287 pence a share on its first day of trading as a public company, leading one analyst to dub the stock “Floperoo”.

Read: Big investors shun Amazon-backed Deliveroo’s $12 billion IPO over workers’ rights concerns

Despite a surge in takeout orders during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns in the U.K. and Europe, several big investors refused to buy into the IPO, citing concerns about the company’s structure, workers’ rights and regulatory risk.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown
HL,
+0.09%
,
said more accurate pricing is also crucial to maintain retail investors enthusiasm for IPOs going forward.  

“The offering, at £3.90 a share, gave Deliveroo
DROOF,

 a valuation of around £7.6 billion, sharply above its valuation of around £5 billion in January following an investment round, yet there had been no fundamental improvements to its prospects,” Streeter said.

“Instead the floatation came at a time of increasing concerns surrounding its gig economy model and the expectation that the easing of Covid restrictions could lead to an initial downturn in business,” she added.

About 400 Deliveroo riders are planning a strike over fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights on Wednesday.

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union said it had planned socially distanced protests in five towns and cities across England on Wednesday. Demands will include a guaranteed living wage after costs, holiday and sick pay, and an end to unpaid waiting times for drivers.

“I’m going on strike for my basic rights and those of all the other riders struggling to get by and support families on Deliveroo poverty pay,” Greg Howard, Deliveroo rider and chair, couriers & logistics branch of the IWGB said.

“I’ve seen conditions decline for years and then working through lockdown I contracted Covid-19 and got very little support from Deliveroo. After the pandemic more people than ever understand this exploitation is no way to treat anyone, let alone key workers. The turning of the tide is clear. It’s time for rights for riders,” he added.

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “This small self appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy while working with Deliveroo alongside the ability to earn over £13 an hour. 

“Only yesterday we ran a survey and 89% of riders said that they were happy with the company and flexibility was their priority. Riders are at the heart of our business and today we are beginning a new consultation with riders about how we should invest our new £50 million community fund,” the spokesperson added.



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