Energy IPOs light up dull market

Energy and resource IPOs represented the bulk of capital raised in an otherwise depressed European Initial Public Offering (IPO) market in the second quarter of 2008, according to auditing giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The firm’s latest quarterly IPO Watch Europe survey showed that in April-June there were 132 IPOs on European markets, just over half of the 258 recorded in the same period of 2007. This was a significant increase on the 72 IPOs in the first quarter of this year, consistent with the traditional trend for higher IPO activity in this quarter prior to the summer break.

Despite the depressed conditions, European markets have continued to attract non-European companies. The two largest IPOs of the quarter were both energy and resource IPOs. Raising €1.566bn, EDP Renováveis, a Portuguese renewable energy company listing on NYSE Euronext and New World Resources, a Czech Republic mining company, which raised €1.39bn through a listing on the main London market in London, Warsaw and Prague.

Richard Weaver, partner, Capital Markets Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “IPO volumes in Europe were down by a half and values by some two-thirds in the quarter compared to 2007, with the only saving grace for the markets being a number of high profile listings by resources and energy companies. London continued to dominate the exchanges, raising over half if the total offering value across Europe.”