Deliveroo shares rise on first full trading day despite strike

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Deliveroo shares have climbed higher on their first day of full trading despite the start of a rider strike over worker rights.

The takeaway delivery operator saw shares increase by more than 3% to 290p in early trading on Wednesday, before edging back slightly.

It is the first day that retail investors have been able to trade shares in the business, however institutional investors have been able to trade in the stock since conditional trading started a week ago.

Last Wednesday, shares in Deliveroo plunged by around 30% as large fund managers raised concerns over its shareholder structure and working conditions for riders.

The start of retail trading came as socially distanced protests were held by riders in cities including London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) said its members are calling for decent pay as well as improved employment rights and safety protections.

Shares moved higher despite the strike as the 70,000 retail investors who took part in its London float decided to hold on to their stock.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Retail investors don’t appear to have lost their appetite for Deliveroo despite the severe bout of indigestion suffered by the company when institutional investors began trading last week.

“Like a fateful round of Monopoly, they were locked out of selling their shares for a week, while the company’s initial valuation fell sharply.

“Now they finally have a ‘get out of jail’ card, but it seems for now that many have kept it in their back pocket, waiting it out for prices to stabilise.”

Nevertheless, Deliveroo shares are still around 28% below their launch price of 390p per share, which would have valued the business at £7.6 billion.

As of midday on Wednesday, the company had a market value of around £5.3 billion.

Despite concerns over rider conditions, leading fund managers largely said that the primary cause of their caution over the stock market float was its shareholder structure, which will give significant power to its founder Will Shu in shareholder votes.