BAT not ready to leave London stock market, insists new boss
Tadeu Morocco: No change plans
The new head of British American Tobacco has rejected calls to leave the London stock market.
Tadeu Marroco, who took over in May, dismissed rumors that the company would be better suited to the New York Stock Exchange. ‘It’s not my priority. This will never be at the top of my priority list,” he told the Daily Mail.
Major shareholder GQG Partners has asked BAT to move. The argument is that a US primary listing would give BAT a higher valuation and greater exposure to its largest market.
But Marroco said BAT, which has been listed in London for more than a century, had a “very good investor base in the UK.”
He said the UK market was “very forgiving” towards public companies. “If we leave the FTSE, there is no guarantee that we will enter the S&P,” he added.
Owen Bennett, an analyst at Jefferies, said a move to the US “would make sense” for BAT as US investors are more receptive to risk-reduced products. But Rae Maile, an analyst at Panmure, said a move wouldn’t necessarily equate to a higher valuation.