- London Tunnels plans to float shares with fundraising target of up to £123m
A company planning to restore and open secret Second World War tunnels in central London is set to become the City’s first IPO of the year.
London Tunnels confirmed its intention to float on Friday, with plans to raise £30million at a valuation of £123million.
It has already raised £10million from private investors.
The company is looking to turn unused walkways and shelters used in WWII into an international tourist attraction.
Originally built in the early 1940s, the Kingsway Exchange Tunnels in central London were designed to shelter people during the Blitz.
It is also thought to have inspired Ian Fleming’s description of ‘Q-Branch’ in James Bond.
CEO Angus Murray said: ‘This unique set of tunnels, owned by a British company, built by the British Government, for the defence of Britain, that can further enhance London’s reputation as a leading tourist destination, should be listed in London. As a result we intend to announce our intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.
‘The Admission of The London Tunnels to the London Stock Exchange offers both UK and International investors a chance to support, while owning part of, this unique irreplaceable heritage and cultural attraction located in Central London.
‘We envisage the London Tunnels achieving the same iconic status in London as the London Eye.’
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The firm plans to create a ‘digitally curated realm beneath London’ using immersive screens and interactive structures.
It also plans to ‘transport’ visitors to ‘iconic global landmarks’ such as the Amazon rainforest or the Great Wall of China.
Initially, however, the proceeds of the IPO will be used to secure planning permission for the project from Camden council.
London Tunnels told This is Money it expects to secure permission imminently.
The firm then expects to welcome 2million visitors per year once it has launched, which is currently scheduled for 2027.
The tunnels, which extend beneath Holborn and Chancery Lane, will also be open in their current condition to small groups of visitors in the first three months of this year.
It follows similar developments across other parts of London, in Vauxhall, Shoreditch and Peckham, which have turned tunnels into bars and music venues.
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