Olam LSE listing ‘vote of confidence’ for UK food

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Olam International announced plans to float its shares on the London Stock Exchange
Olam International announced plans to float its shares on the London Stock Exchange

Related tags London stock exchange Ingredients

Olam International’s plans to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would provide a significant boost for the food and drink sector and provide a vote of confidence for investors, according to Oghma Partners.

The Singapore-based food ingredients supplier announced its intention to float its ingredients division on the LSE last week, targeted for completion in the second quarter of 2022.

The listing will coincide with a similar listing in its home market of Singapore, as the group continues to re-organise the business in to two coherent operating groups – Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) and Olam Global Agri.

Chief executive Sunny Verghese said it would be one of the biggest listings the LSE has seen in the last several years, but the exact size would be determined nearer the time.

Vote of confidence

Commenting on the Olam’s intention to float on the LSE, Mark Lynch, partner at corporate finance house Oghma Partners,​ described the listing of OFI in the UK as a vote of confidence in the London Equity market and reflected its ‘deep pool of liquidity’.

“Assuming that the Company does qualify as a UK Food Manufacturer, it provides a significant boost to the sector that has lost many former FTSE companies over the last twenty years including, Cadbury Schweppes, United Biscuits, Hillsdown Holdings, Albert Fisher, Northern Foods and Unigate,” ​said Lynch.

“Importantly it also offers investors a route into the changing world of food ingredients which is seeing an expansion in its opportunities through the growth in demand for plant based foods, plus expanding Ag Tech and Food Tech applications and the focus of consumers and clients on traceability and sustainability.”

Global supplier

One of the world’s biggest suppliers of cocoa beans, onions, garlic, almonds and coffee, OFI recently reported earnings before interest of S$316.3m (£168.3m) in the first half of 2021, with sales of S$6.79bn (£3.61bn).

OFI chief executive Anantharaman Shekhar added: “The primary listing on the LSE will give us access to London’s large and diverse investor base, with its deep and liquid capital markets, and enable us to benefit from its strong understanding of and research coverage across the food and beverage sector.

“The concurrent listing in Singapore will also enable us to retain our strong local shareholder base and further tap into growing investor appetite in Asia.”

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