Blow to City as £24bn Ashtead 'explores switch to Wall Street'

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Concern: M&S chairman Archie Norman

FTSE 100 equipment hire giant Ashtead is reportedly considering a move to the New York stock exchange in a potential fresh blow to the City.

The £24billion group is in the early stages of exploring a switch of its listing from London to Wall Street, according to The Sunday Telegraph. It comes despite boss Brendan Horgan, an American, last year telling a newspaper ‘we remain happy where we are’.

Now, however, the company has reportedly asked City advisers to review the potential merits of the move. 

Ashtead’s departure would come as another blow for London after the loss of the likes of Cambridge-based chip firm Arm Holdings to the US. 

A spokesman said: ‘Ashtead reviews its capital structure regularly, including its domicile.’ 

It came as Marks & Spencer chairman Archie Norman became the latest corporate grandee to lament the state of the UK stock market, criticising the reduction in pension funds allocated to British equities.