CVC-backed chemicals group Evonik revives IPO plans


chemical_lrgPrivate equity-backed chemicals group Evonik Industries is to resume its plans for an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

According to its owners, private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and Germany’s RAG Foundation, the move is prompted by the improved capital market environment as well as investors’ growing interest in the shares.

Both RAG and CVC said they have placed a part of their shares – amounting to less than ten per cent of the company – with institutional investors in advance of the listing. The placement is being advised by MainFirst Bank.

The broadening of the shareholder base marks a first step towards the intended listing, and the valuation of the company “significantly exceeds” the indicative prices for last year’s aborted IPO, according to Evonik’s owners.

At the time, RAG, which then owned a 75 per cent stake in the company, said the performance of financial markets had added to uncertainty over whether Evonik’s value would be properly reflected by a listing, which would have valued the company at close to €11bn.

Evonik was due to list on the Frankfurt bourse in the third quarter of 2011 but the IPO was canned amid choppy market conditions.

“For RAG Foundation, the sale of shares in Evonik has two advantages: We have achieved a good result while making further headway towards the planned listing of the company,” said Werner Müller, chairman of RAG Foundation.

Christian Wildmoser, a partner at CVC, added, “After four and a half years of close co-operation, CVC and RAG Foundation have used this private placement to open Evonik to responsible new investors.

“Interest was already very strong at the time of the planned listing in 2012, when market conditions in the end were too volatile. The private placement puts us in a more positive position towards achieving an intended stock exchange listing with less effort and makes us less dependent on what is a volatile market environment.”

CVC invested in the company back in September 2008, and owned a 25 per cent stake prior to the announced placement.

The private equity group is looking to divest a number of its holdings ahead of the launch of its latest €9bn buyout fund, according to the FT.

Earlier this week CVC and BC Partners reportedly teamed up to launch a €3.5bn buyout of French catering company Elior from fellow private equity firm Charterhouse.

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