Chr.Hansen set for €1bn IPO

Danish bioscience business Chr.Hansen is poised to make a €1bn IPO in the new year as private equity backer PAI Partners considers selling a stake in the company it acquired in 2005.

Speaking to Reuters, PAI partner Frederic Stevenin said: “This option is being proactively studied by our bankers, not by us. No decision has been taken at this stage.” The company is expected to be valued at €2bn.

Previously listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, PAI delisted the food ingredients company following its majority takeover in July 2005, in a €1.1bn deal, beating off bids from Dutch chemicals group DSM and Irish food company Kerry.

Chr.Hansen is one of a number of private equity-backed IPOs set for next year. Expected to join it and Brenntag (see p29) are Amadeus (BC Partners and Cinven), Travelport (Blackstone), New Look (Apax and Permira), Pets at Home (Bridgepoint), Medica (BC Partners), AA/Saga (Charterhouse, Permira and CVC), TDC (Apax, Blackstone, Providence Equity Partners, KKR and Permira), and Yoox (Balderton Capital).

The European IPO market is beginning to show signs of recovery after a series of record lows. In Q3 2009, 44 IPOs were recorded raising €1.8bn, a significant increase on the 28 listings raising €456m in the previous quarter.