Even London Tunnels is shunning the London Stock Exchange

  • London Tunnels will float on the Euronext exchange 

A company that wants to turn a secret network of Second World War tunnels in London into a major tourist attraction has dropped plans to float its shares in the City and is listing them in Amsterdam instead.

In an embarrassing U-turn, London Tunnels has appointed Dutch investment bank ABN Amro to handle the flotation on the Euronext exchange. 

It is another blow to the London stock market, which has struggled to attract firms looking to raise money by selling shares to new investors.

Out of London: London Tunnels has appointed Dutch investment bank ABN Amro to handle the flotation on the Euronext exchange

London Tunnels’ decision to shun its home stock market will feel particularly painful because of its name and heritage. 

Built during the Blitz as shelter, the network beneath Holborn and Chancery Lane tube stations was later used as offices by Sir Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive, forerunner to the MI6 intelligence service.

The hidden labyrinth also served as a covert telephone exchange during the Cold War. London Tunnels trumpeted its patriotic credentials in January when it unveiled plans to raise £30million in the City, valuing it at £123million. 

‘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,’ said chief executive Angus Murray.

Those words now ring hollow. London Tunnels declined to comment on its volte-face. It is understood its failure to win planning approval to reopen the site and turn it into an attraction deterred potential backers.

Sources say the Financial Conduct Authority, the City watchdog, refused to approve its prospectus – documents that highlight the risks and opportunities potential shareholders face.

London Tunnels has already raised £10million, with ABN Amro tasked with bringing more on board. ABN Amro was contacted for comment. The FCA was approached for comment.

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