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Chemicals producer Evonik Industries has confirmed plans for a stock market listing in what is set to be Germany’s largest initial public offering in more than a decade.
The group, 25 per cent owned by CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm, said a share sale was expected before the summer. Sources familiar with the sale said trading could start on June 25.
The planned timetable encompasses the run-up to Greece’s elections on June 17 – which could potentially be decisive for the eurozone – and highlights the risks attached with the proposed share sale in volatile markets. Georgia decided this week to postpone a London listing plan for its state-owned railways and Evonik’s IPO has already been delayed since last year because of market conditions.
Klaus Engel, chief executive of Evonik, acknowledged the “challenging conditions on the financial markets” but said the company had “great confidence”. CVC said the planned IPO was the “logical next step”.
An IPO of Evonik could raise at least €3bn, making it the largest in Germany since a clutch of technology and telecoms companies including T-Online and Infineon floated in 2000 during the tech boom.
CVC plans to sell one share for every two sold by RAG, a state-controlled foundation that owns almost 75 per cent of Evonik. RAG was set up to deal with legacy costs from the German coal industry and spun Evonik out from its holdings in 2007, with CVC acquiring its stake for €2.8bn in 2008.
The companies are planning to list Evonik on Frankfurt’s stock exchange. It would be the biggest IPO in Frankfurt since Brenntag, a chemicals distributor, raised almost €750m in 2010.
Evonik had sales of €14.5bn and operating profits of €2.8bn last year.