Deliveroo shares stage mini fightback after last week’s float disaster despite UK-wide strikes over pay and conditions
Deliveroo shares staged a mini fightback as they traded freely for the first time following what has been dubbed London’s worst stock market debut.
The food delivery firm listed its shares on the stock exchange last week but only institutional investors such as pension funds were able to trade until yesterday.
This meant the 70,000 Deliveroo customers who bought shares in the float at 390p each could only watch in horror as they tumbled by as much as 31 per cent – leaving them nursing heavy losses.
Protest: Riders outside the London Stock Exchange yesterday on Deliveroo’s first day of public trading
It was feared that many would dump their shares when unconditional trading began yesterday, the point at which retail investors are allowed to buy and sell as well as the big City institutions.
But the shares rose 2.1 per cent, or 6p, to 286p in a sign that there was no rush for the exit. However, the stock is still down around 27 per cent since the float, leaving a customer who invested £1,000 with £730.
Deliveroo customers were allowed to buy between £250 and £1,000 of shares. The rise in the share price came as hundreds of delivery riders went on strike, following a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, including the classification of riders as ‘self-employed’.
This means they are not entitled to a minimum wage and miss out on benefits such as holiday pay and sick leave.
Ahead of its float, Deliveroo was shunned by several big City investors including Legal & General and Aviva over concerns about these issues. Some riders are said to earn as little as £2 per hour.
The company claims they can make £13 per hour during busier periods and they have ‘the freedom to choose’ when to work.
But delivery riders demonstrated in London, York, Sheffield, Reading and Wolverhampton, with those in the capital protesting outside Deliveroo’s headquarters, the offices of advisers Goldman Sachs and the London Stock Exchange.
Couriers clutching pictures of Deliveroo boss Will Shu shouted: ‘Come out and meet the people you disrespect.’
Alex Marshall, a bicycle courier and spokesman for the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), said: ‘Deliveroo presents a false choice between flexibility and basic rights but the Uber ruling showed that here as well as abroad, workers can have both.
‘That is the least they deserve and what the public expects for our frontline workers. It’s time for Deliveroo to do the right thing, recognise its riders as workers and treat them like human beings.’
Deliveroo does not recognise the IWGB and disputes claims that pay can dip as low as £2.
It claimed: ‘This small, self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy while working with Deliveroo alongside the ability to earn over £13 an hour.
‘Only yesterday we ran a survey and 89 per cent of riders said that they were happy with the company and flexibility was their priority.
‘We are proud that rider satisfaction is at an all-time high.’