STOCKS TO WATCH: Beauty Bay pulls back from London float

STOCKS TO WATCH: Online retailer Beauty Bay pulls back from pushing button on London flotation

An online beauty retailer has pulled back from pushing the button on a London flotation. 

City sources say the odds on a float of Beauty Bay, founded by Arron and David Gabbie, are lengthening. The retailer sources sought-after brands, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills and CTZN, and works with influencers such as YouTuber Saffron Barker. 

The brothers had enlisted bankers at GCA Altium to assess their options and later discussed possibilities, including a float, with bankers at Investec. 

Cold feet: City sources say the odds on a float of Beauty Bay, founded by Arron and David Gabbie, are lengthening

But City sources said talks with Investec have ended. 

Several consumer-facing firms have recently ditched plans for floats, including steak chain Hawksmoor and budget gyms group PureGym. 

The travails at Matt Moulding’s Hut Group, owner of the Lookfantastic brand, have shaken confidence in online retailers. 

Beauty Bay said it was debt-free and growing ‘rapidly’, adding: ‘An IPO is one of a number of options.’ Investec declined to comment.

Dividend paying status at Shell being restored 

Shell’s status as a reliable dividend payer is rapidly being restored. 

The ground is still shaking after the oil giant’s shock dividend cut in 2020 – the first since 1945, but payouts are back on the rise.

It increased the divi from 17.35¢ (12.6p) a share in the first quarter to 24¢ in the second.

It is on track to be the Footsie’s third-highest payer behind Rio Tinto and British American Tobacco with an 84¢ annual payout, giving a 3.5 per cent yield. 

Quantum Exponential to list in London 

A technology firm led by Tony Blair’s former Trade Minister will list in London next week as it builds a portfolio of investments. 

Quantum Exponential, chaired by former Labour MP Ian Pearson, will raise £5.3million through its listing on the Aquis Exchange on November 1, valuing the firm at about £16.5million. 

It plans to initially invest in specialists in quantum computing technology – billed as the future of computing, helping firms solve complex mathematical problems in areas from global supply chains to fraud detection.

It has so far screened more than 175 firms as possible investments. 

Even the mighty bank Goldman Sachs is dipping its toe into quantum technology, so it could soon be a hot market. 

Next act in GlaxoSmithKline drama imminent 

Expect the next act in the unfolding drama at GlaxoSmithKline this week. 

With the board under attack from activists Elliott and Bluebell, chief executive Emma Walmsley will unveil its third-quarter trading. 

She is expected to give an update on progress in demerging its pharma and vaccines business from its consumer arm. 

Analysts will be keen to assess the performance of its Shingrix shingles vaccine, stymied by the global Covid vaccine rollout. 

But turnover of £8.7billion is expected, up from £8.1billion the previous quarter. Perhaps enough to keep friendly investors on side for now?