Warburg-backed Fairfield pulls IPO

The London-based oil and gas firm has postponed its $500m initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, citing weak market conditions.

British oil and gas firm Fairfield Energy has postponed its $500 million initial public offering on the London Stock exchange because of market conditions.

The North Sea oil exploration and production company, which is controlled by US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, had reportedly offered shares at 220 pence to 420 pence, valuing the firm at $1.1 billion. Warburg Pincus led a group of investors in Fairfield when the energy company debuted in 2005.

“The IPO market is not terribly attractive. Investors are still pretty picky about what they buy

Philip Buscombe

Fairfield’s decision not to go public follows similar opt-outs from private equity-owned groups including  budget fashion retailer New Look, which pulled its IPO in February, and Blackstone portfolio companies Merlin Entertainment and Travelport, both of which delayed IPOs earlier this year due to volatile markets.

“The IPO market is not terribly attractive,” said Philip Buscombe, chief executive officer of private equity firm Lyceum Capital, in June. “Investors are still pretty picky about what they buy.”

Last month, Warburg Pincus announced it would invest up to $85 million in Metropolis Healthcare, a chain of diagnostic laboratories in India.  In May, the firm partnered with US technology specialist Silver Lake on a $3.8 billion deal for Interactive Data, one of the largest deals of the year.