Alfa Laval boosts Nordic IPO market

Industri Kapital has managed a partial exit from its investment in Swedish heating equipment manufacturer, Alfa Laval following its flotation on the Stockholm bourse last month. Industri Kapital and the company’s other main shareholder, Tetra Laval, the packaging company are thought to have reduced their holdings to around 24 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. Alfa’s IPO is Sweden’s largest since telecom operator Telia’s $7.6 billion partial privatisation in 2000 and provides a boost for the market after several setbacks including the cancelled IPO of Danish wind turbine blades manufacturer, LM Glasfiber.

Trading opened at SEK94, up 3.3 per cent from its IPO price of SEK91 per share. This was the lower end of the reduced price range of SEK90 to SEK95. Alfa Laval originally set a price range of SEK108 to SEK140 for the IPO, which many investors viewed too high especially in light of Ericsson’s SEK30 billion rights issue, which is posing a threat to liquidity in the Nordic market.

With sales of €1.7 billion, Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialised process engineering solutions, equipment and services in the areas of separation, heat transfer and fluid handling. The company’s customers span over 100 countries and it has around 9,300 employees. Industri Kapital acquired a controlling stake in the company in August 2000 for an undisclosed sum, in what was hailed as the Nordic region’s largest buyout to date. Industri Kapital bought its 51 per cent stake from family-controlled giant Tetra Laval, which retained a 49 per cent holding.

Taking advantage of a renewed interest for Nordic offers, Industri Kapital is also looking to float another of its portfolio companies, Swedish debt collector, Intrum Justitia. The share sale, aimed at paying off debt and raising funds for acquisitions is to raise SEK1.35 billion for the company. The IPO has been set at between SEK36 and SEK51 per share.