Raspberry Pi on IPO plans: 'We want to be ready when the markets are ready'

Bankers appointed, but CEO insists nothing will change while he's in charge

The Raspberry Pi company is again preparing the ground for an initial public offering (IPO), appointing bankers Peel Hunt and Jefferies ahead of a planned listing on the London Stock Exchange.

CEO Eben Upton told The Register that the organization was still early in the process: "We want to be ready when the markets are ready.

"The business is in a much better place than it was last time we looked at it. We partly stopped because the markets got bad. And we partly stopped because our business became unpredictable."

"Unpredictable" is an understatement for many who attempted to acquire certain models of the computer during the supply chain crunches of recent years. "The public markets value predictability as much as they value performance," said Upton.

When a listing happens, will things change for the company? Upton hopes not, at least not while he remains at the helm. "We've always tried to run a business that does interesting work and makes money, and I don't think those imperatives are going to change. We will keep doing the same stuff. Certainly while I'm in charge."

The business will be listed in the UK rather than the US. In late 2023, the long anticipated Arm IPO took place on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in New York.

Upton dismissed the idea of listing in the US: "It's a bit of a meme, this idea that the US is some sort of promised land for businesses, and certainly for tech businesses."

"I think what a lot of it boils down to is some idea of there being a multiples gap, where American companies might trade at 20 times earnings, and British companies trade at ten times earnings.

"It's a very crude model that somehow gives [the impression] that a given company would do better in America."

The effect evaporates when comparing broadly identical companies, he reckoned.

The valuation on Raspberry Pi Ltd is unclear at present. In late 2021, a figure of £370 million ($468 million) was mooted. In November 2023, Arm took a minority stake in the manufacturer, and the valuation passed the £400 million ($506 million) mark. ®

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