Evonik owners place more shares with investors ahead of IPO

12 March 2013 12:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Evonik Industries' owners on Monday announced they have placed further shares of the Germany-based specialty chemicals producer with institutional investors, ahead of a contemplated listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

On 22 February, owners RAG Foundation and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners announced they had privately placed a stake of less than 10% of Evonik with selected German and international institutional investors.

The placement of shares was part of preparations for a planned listing, which has been prompted by “the improved capital market environment, as well as investors' growing interest in the shares of successful companies,” the owners said.

With the placement of further shares, RAG Foundation and CVC Capital Partners have now sold around 12% of the company’s share capital, "with demand substantially exceeding the number of shares on offer". The purchase share price was not disclosed.

“The further broadening of the shareholder base marks another step toward the contemplated listing. Now that the private placement is completed, the preparations for a listing of Evonik Industries on the Frankfurt stock exchange will continue as scheduled,” the companies said.

Werner Mueller, chairman of RAG Foundation, said: “We have met an important requirement for the contemplated listing by successfully completing the private placement.”

Christian Wildmoser, partner at CVC, said: “The private placement was met by strong interest from domestic and international investors. We are pleased that today we have taken another step towards making a leading specialty chemicals company accessible to an even broader group of investors.”

On 10 March, Germany’s business journal Wirtschaftswoche reported Singapore’s government investment fund Temasek is taking a stake in Evonik.

Evonik owners RAG-Stiftung and CVC had agreed to sell a stake of just below 5% for about €600m ($779m) to Temasek, Wirtschaftswoche said on its website, citing unnamed RAG sources.

In June last year, RAG decided to cancel its plans for Evonik's initial public offering (IPO). RAG at the time said under uncertain capital market conditions – in particular with regard to further developments in the eurozone – it could not achieve IPO proceeds that reflect the company's value.

RAG is a German coal foundation. Proceeds from Evonik’s IPO will go towards paying for environmental and other costs related to the closure of coal mines in North Rhine-Westphalia state.

It also ended IPO preparations in 2008, again because of unfavourable capital market conditions at the time. Instead, RAG sold a 25.01% stake of Evonik to CVC.

In related news, Evonik on Tuesday said it expects sales to be higher in 2013 on the back of new production capacities and rising demand, with operating results in line with the levels reported in 2012.

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten

($1 = €0.77)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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