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Deliveroo shares sink 31% in London debut

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Food-delivery startup Deliveroo Holdings sank as much as 31 per cent in its London debut after its initial public offering raised £1.5 billion, putting pressure on the City’s efforts to boost its profile as a technology and listings hub post-Brexit. It is one of the steepest trading debut falls for a major company on the London market for years.

The stock traded at 292 pence as of 8.21am in London, down from the IPO price of 390 pence a share, which was the bottom end of an initial range. Beset by concerns about its dual-class structure and workers rights, Deliveroo is the first of London’s top five deals this year not to price at the highest targeted valuation, data compiled by Bloomberg News show.

Some of the UK’s largest asset managers said last week they wouldn’t participate in the offering because the company’s treatment of couriers doesn’t align with responsible investing practices. Hundreds of riders are planning a protest next week to lobby for better pay and conditions.

“There will be a lot of selling pressure, as many will try to retreat from a broken IPO, such at this one,” said Patrick Basiewicz, an analyst at UK broker finnCap. And with impaired institutional support, there will be fewer fundamental buyers, he said.

“It’s certainly a disappointing outcome for an IPO that initially generated a lot of enthusiasm,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, wrote in an emailed note. “Recent weakness in the share price of a number of its peers in the US, like Doordash, appears to have taken some of the shine off the sector.”

Doordash

Over the past month, Doordash has slumped 23 per cent in New York. And European rivals Just Eat Takeaway. com, Delivery Hero and meal-kit maker HelloFresh have also fallen this year as the vaccine rollout raised hopes of economies reopening.

Deliveroo and investors sold 384.6 million shares at the offer price, equal to a 21 per cent stake. The company raised £1 billion, while shareholders including Amazon. com and chief executiveWill Shu sold the remaining £500 million of stock. It’s the largest IPO in the UK since e-commerce operator THG’s £1.88 billion listing in September.

The prospectus indicates Amazon was looking to sell 23.3 million shares in the offering. At the IPO price, this means it could receive proceeds of £90.9 million, with its remaining stake valued at about £818 million, according to Bloomberg News calculations.

Lockdowns contributed to massive growth for Deliveroo and its peers. Orders on the platform grew 64 per cent last year, but they haven’t managed to turn that growth into full-year profit just yet. The company’s 2020 adjusted Ebitda was a loss of £11.8 million, according to the prospectus, still narrower than the £226.9 million loss a year earlier.

Tech Hub

Like THG, Deliveroo listed with weighted voting rights on the LSE’s standard segment and therefore can’t be included in indexes such as the Ftse 100, despite its size. While the stock will lose out on fund flows from passive strategies that track these benchmarks, the same situation hasn’t prevented THG’s shares from surging 26 per cent.

Some investors balked at the dual-class structure, which will allow Shu to retain control of the business for three years. Yet, London may soon do away with the so far sacrosanct “one share, one vote” principle for premium listings, as it is one of several proposed changes to the UK listing rules in a bid to attract more high-growth offerings.

Deliveroo is an important deal for the City of London, which is working hard to boost its credentials as a listing venue for tech companies that can compete with heavyweights New York and Hong Kong. Its efforts were boosted on Tuesday when homegrown unicorn Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a DNA sequencing firm, said it plans to list in London this year.

The post-Brexit charm offensive is paying off. IPOs have now raised more than £7 billion in London this year, marking the city’s best-ever first quarter, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg. Deliveroo’s market value of £7.6 billion at the offering price makes it one of the UK’s largest traded tech companies.

If there is enough demand, underwriters have the option to sell additional shares an increase the deal size by as much as 10 per cent. – Bloomberg

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HSE working to amend booster system as people receive multiple appointments

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) is working to amend the coronavirus vaccine system, as multiple channels offering third jabs has caused challenges for the booster campaign, HSE chief operations officer Anne O’Connor has said.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Ms O’Connor explained that the booster vaccine was available through vaccination centres, general practitioners and pharmacies.

Some people had gone to their local pharmacy to get their booster vaccine and then had received an appointment at a vaccination centre, she said. She called on people to cancel their vaccination centre appointment if they had received their booster through their GP or pharmacy.

Ms O’Connor’s comments come after Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Tuesday that there were 87,000 no-shows for boosters last week, and the chairman of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP committee, Dr Denis McCauley, described the non-attendances as “very disrespectful”.

Ms O’Connor said the priority for the HSE was to get as many people fully vaccinated as possible.

When asked about the lower levels of people in the 60-69 age cohort who have received their booster vaccine, Ms O’Connor said that not everyone in that age group would have had their second vaccine more than five months ago. That was “a natural limiter”.

Ms O’Connor said people possibly were apprehensive or busier, now that many were back at work or were preparing for Christmas, but the vaccine was important as was the booster.

To date more than a million people have received their booster vaccine, she added, and appointments will be offered to people aged between 50 and 59 from Thursday.

“We will also have walk-in centres open to people to get their vaccine and as ever we encourage everybody to avail of the vaccine. It’s really important, especially with a new variant, that we try to protect as many people as possible,” Ms O’Connor said.

‘Be respectful’

Meanwhile, Dr McAuley told Newstalk Breakfast that there were very few no-shows to booster appointments at GP surgeries, because people know their GP personally.

Now was not the time for “messing”, he said in relation to people failing to attend their appointments at vaccine centres.

“If you get a vaccine appointment, make sure that you go there rather than getting your hair done or going shopping – or if it is a work thing, stay on the helpline to get a new appointment.

“Be respectful of the mass vaccination centres. These are people who are working very hard and it is very disrespectful to have over 80,000 people not turn up in one week. It is not appropriate. You wouldn’t do it to your GP so why are you doing it to these healthcare workers.”

There was also a concern that some people were waiting to see what happens with the Omicron variant before getting their booster. Dr McCauley said that the booster would greatly reduce the chances of picking up the virus or having to go into hospital

Dr McCauley said there needed to be “a call to arms” for people to get vaccinated and he warned that when more information about Omicron emerged, booster appointments could be harder to come by.

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All you need to know on getting the Moderna vaccine as a booster

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People due to receive their Covid-19 booster vaccine in coming weeks will primarily be offered the Moderna dose at HSE vaccination centres.

The HSE is reported to have large supplies of Moderna due to expire next month, so that will be the main vaccine administered over coming weeks to the over-60s, over-50s, healthcare workers, and younger people in vulnerable groups – though it will be restricted to people over 30.

Anecdotally there are indications some people may be reluctant to take the Moderna vaccine. This may be due to Irish stocks about to expire shortly and/or confusion about its efficacy. This follows the company’s chief executive Stéphane Bancel warning last week the Moderna jab may not be as effective against Omicron as it had been with the Delta variant.

The HSE has confirmed recipients will have no choice on what vaccine they are given.

What type of coronavirus vaccine is the Moderna jab?

It is a new kind of synthetic “mRNA vaccine” – the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is from the same stable. They provide excellent protection against severe illness and hospitalisation – and have played a critical role in reducing Covid-19 deaths since being approved. A downside, however, is that the Moderna version must be kept at -20 degrees.

Should people be worried about receiving a soon to be out-of-date vaccine?





Total doses distributed to Ireland Total doses administered in Ireland


10,093,390


8,193,802

In short no, as they retain the ability to boost antibody production within currently approved time spans – though inevitably potency wanes over time. The Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen (Johnson&Johnson) vaccines were put on the market with emergency use authorisation of up to six months.

This compares with a shelf life of two to three years for most vaccines and other medicines. This is an “inevitable consequence of getting the vaccines out of the door as quickly as possible”, chief scientist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Gino Martini told the journal BMJ.

Months later, these “emergency” expiry dates remain in force for these vaccines. For approved Covid-19 vaccines, the initial shelf lives were based on data available at the time of submission for regulatory approval.

The long-term shelf life has not been extended for any of the vaccines. A shelf life extension would require supporting evidence from relevant stability studies. Vaccine manufacturers are monitoring batches of vaccines with the aim of providing a longer shelf life; probably the usual two years.

What about the Omicron threat?

While Moderna said existing vaccines including its mRNA version will probably be less effective against the Omicron variant, most experts believe they will continue to provide significant protection against severe disease and hospitalisation. It should be stressed, however, definitive indication has yet to emerge. That will be a matter of weeks, if not days.

Moderna has confirmed it is developing an Omicron-specific booster though manufacturing the new vaccine would take time. Tens of millions of doses could be available in the first quarter of 2022, but scale-up would not happen until the second quarter – provided it is shown such boosters are required.

What is the latest indication on the benefits of mixing vaccines?

Evidence supporting a mixing of vaccine doses has hardened over recent months. A study this week shows combining a first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with a second dose of either the Moderna or the Novavax jabs results in far higher levels of neutralising antibodies and T-cells compared with two doses of the AstraZeneca jab.

This finding also has important implications for lower-income countries that have not yet completed their primary vaccination campaigns as it suggests you do not need access to mRNA vaccines – and therefore ultra-cold storage facilities – to trigger an extremely potent Covid-19 vaccine response.

The study also bolsters confidence that using the Moderna vaccine as a booster dose in people who have previously received the AstraZeneca jab should result in high levels of neutralising antibodies and T-cells.

It follows separate data published last week suggesting the Pfizer and Moderna booster jabs can dramatically strengthen the body’s immune defences.

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Woman (90s) dies following single-vehicle crash in Co Clare

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A woman in her 90s has died following a single-vehicle crash in Co Clare in the early hours of Tuesday.

The incident occurred at about 12.30am at Annagh, Miltown Malbay. The woman, who was the driver and sole occupant of the car involved in the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her body was removed to Limerick University Hospital, where gardaí say a postmortem will take place at a later date.

The road has been closed to facilitate an exam by Garda forensic collision investigators, and local diversions are in place.

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses – particularly road users who may have camera footage – to come forward. Anyone with information can contact Kilrush Garda station (065 908 0550), the confidential line (1800 666 111), or any Garda station.

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