FUNDING Circle is reportedly poised to hire Morgan Stanley to lead a flotation on the London Stock Exchange in the second half of this year.
The largest P2P platform by loan book size in the UK is expected to hire the US bank in the coming weeks, according to Sky News.
Sky News cited City sources that said Morgan Stanley has been coordinating meetings with Funding Circle management and institutional investors in recent weeks.
Analysts have in the past suggested Funding Circle would be valued at over £1bn, meaning it would meet the LSE main market’s required minimum market capitalisation of £700,000.
But some existing investors believe the float will value Funding Circle at well over £1.5bn, according to Sky News.
Funding Circle declined to comment when contacted by Peer2Peer Finance News.
Read more: Funding Circle poised for £1bn float
If its flotation plans come to fruition, Funding Circle is likely to join the FTSE 250’s financial services sector, which is home to challenger bank Metro Bank, sub-prime lender Provident Financial, and mortgage and business finance provider Paragon Banking Group.
Funding Circle looks likely to be the UK’s first IPO of a P2P lending platform, with the other ‘big three’ lenders are set to follow suit.
RateSetter’s chief executive Rhydian Lewis has confirmed the company’s plans to float, although no specific timeframe has been confirmed.
And Zopa co-founder Giles Andrews has in the past described a public listing as a “natural route” for the business.
Read more: When will the UK see its first P2P IPO?