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AutoStore, Norway’s largest IPO in two decades, valued at $ 12.4 billion




A woman walks past the Oslo Stock Exchange building in Oslo, Norway, February 12, 2019. REUTERS / Gwladys Fouché

OSLO, Oct. 20 (Reuters) – Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore (AUTO.OL) said on Wednesday that it had priced its initial public offering (IPO) at NKr 31 per share, the top of its target range, valuing l ‘business at 103.5 billion. crowns ($ 12.4 billion).

SoftBank-backed AutoStore (9984.T) will be Norway’s most valuable new listing for two decades when it goes public on Euronext’s Oslo Stock Exchange later Wednesday.

The company raised SEK 2.7 billion in cash through the issuance of new shares, while existing owners such as Thomas H. Lee Partners, EQT and others sold shares worth 15, 3 billion crowns. Read more

Its stock traded up 8.1% to SEK 33.5 at 7:12 a.m. GMT, minutes after trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange began.

“The money we get from the IPO will mainly be used to reduce debt to a more normal level for a public company,” CEO Karl Johan Lier told Reuters.

He plans to bring the leverage ratio down to around 2.5 from the current ratio of 5-6.

After the IPO, the free float of AutoStore shares will amount to approximately 17.4% of the global capital.

Founded in 1996, AutoStore has 20,000 robots deployed in more than 35 countries to automate warehouses. The company, whose customers include ASDA, Gucci and Lufthansa, uses robots to store and retrieve products, allowing customers to store four times as much inventory in the same space.

In April, SoftBank of Japan bought a 40% stake in the Norwegian company for $ 2.8 billion, valuing AutoStore at around $ 7 billion at the time. SoftBank did not sell any shares during the IPO.

“SoftBank is a very good partner, ready to help us get more attention in the APAC region …

AutoStore has been Norway’s most valuable new listing since the 2001 launch of Statoil, now known as Equinor (EQNR.OL), which was valued at NKr 151 billion at the time of its IPO.

Four key investors, Alecta Pensionsforsakring, FIL Investments, Mawer Investment Management and WCM Investment Management, each pledged to invest $ 200 million prior to the IPO.

AutoStore reported net revenue of $ 182.1 million last year and expects around $ 300 million in 2021 to grow to over $ 500 million in 2022 with a pipeline of projects worth $ 3.4 billion spread over 2,000 projects.

Bankers from Carnegie, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, ABG Sundal Collier, Citigroup, Jefferies, Mizuho, ​​SpareBank 1 Markets and Moelis were involved in the transaction.

($ 1 = 8.3474 Norwegian crowns)

Additional reporting by Gwladys Fouché in Oslo; edited by Richard Pullin, Stephen Coates and Louise Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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