Shipping group Hapag-Lloyd to raise $500 mln in float
FRANKFURT, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd is planning to raise $500 million in a stock market flotation, the company said on Monday, joining a swathe of initial public offerings in Germany.
The world's fourth largest container liner is planning to sell new shares worth $400 million, while two existing shareholders, Kuehne Maritime and CSAV are placing cornerstone orders of $50 million each.
"This move will give us better access to the capital markets which will enable us to further invest in our business to become more competitive," Hapag-Lloyd Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen said.
Hapag-Lloyd, which may be valued at more than 5 billion euros in the IPO, is the latest German company to announce plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in recent days, following automotive supplier Schaeffler, Bayer's plastics business Covestro, building materials maker Xella and online classifieds group Scout24.
The companies are seeking to take advantage of still robust equities markets, but Hapag-Lloyd has adjusted its IPO volume in response to recent market wobbles, sources familiar with the deal said.
"Caution was the imperative. Hapag's shareholders opted to float the smallest possible stake to avoid offering more than investors are willing to buy and having to scrap IPO plans," one of the people said.
IPOs with a volume of less than $500 million euros are generally regarded as providing too little liquidity and are therefore avoided if possible.
Investor assumptions on equities markets in general as well as the development of the China market crisis and potential effects on the real economy and trade activity were taken into account when preparing for the flotation, another person said.
"You never hit the perfect timing for an IPO," Jansen told Reuters. Continuación...