Axcel-backed Pandora raises $1.8bn in IPO

Shares in the Danish jewellery manufacturer climbed nearly 18% in its first day of trading Tuesday on the OMX Copenhagen exchange.

Pandora, the Danish jewellery manufacturer known for its charm bracelets, has raised $1.8 billion in an initial public offering of 44.5 million existing shares and 2.8 million new shares, priced at about $40 per share. Its share price climbed nearly 18 percent in its first day of trading Tuesday,

Backed my Danish private equity firm Axcel, Pandora generated approximately $650 million in revenue and about $297 million EBITDA in 2009.

Approximately 5,000 investors have been allocated shares in Pandora, 95 percent of which went to Danish and international institutional investors. Axcel will retain roughly 81 million shares after the offering, or approximately 62.5 percent of Pandora’s share capital.

Axcel acquired a 60 percent stake in Pandora from founders Per and Winnie Enevoldsen and a number of senior staff in March 2008. The firm’s latest fund, Axcel III, closed in early 2006 on $542 million. Axcel’s portfolio currently consists of 15 companies in a number of sectors, including technology, building products and retail. The majority of the firm’s portfolio is based in Denmark.

In May 2009, Axcel purchased logistics group LGT Logistics in a secondary buyout from Swedish lower mid-market firm Litorina Kapital. Financial details were not disclosed, but a source close to the situation valued the transaction at around $50 million. 

Axcel’s nine most recent investments came from Axcel III. The remaining were made in Axcel II, with the exception of BB Electronics, which is now the only remaining company in Axcel's first fund, Axcel IndustriInvestor. The firm has an investment horizon of 5-7 years with a maximum 10 years.