Doughty’s ATU pulls IPO

Doughty Hanson-owned Auto-Teile-Unger has indefinitely postponed the initial public offering that was scheduled for June 16, citing adverse market conditions.

Auto-Teile-Unger, the operator of specialised automotive parts stores and repair shops in Germany, has cancelled an initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that was originally scheduled for June 16. 

The decision, announced today by ATU CEO Werner Aichinger and blamed on adverse market conditions, is a setback for Doughty Hanson, the company’s controlling shareholder.

In May, Doughty confirmed it was seeking a stock market listing for the business this spring. Observers said at the time the market could value the company at up to €1.5 billion.

ATU’s withdrawal comes at a time when investor appetite for new issues in the German market is considered unstable. On May 19, Wincor Nixdorf, the German cash machine maker owned by KKR, successfully floated in Frankfurt, although the company’s shares were priced at the very bottom of the book building range.

Alongside UK sportswear maker Umbro and Dunlop Standard Aerospace, ATU is one of three portfolio companies Doughty is currently looking to exit.

Realising its investment in these companies is widely seen as important to the firm as it continues to seek institutional support for a new €3billion buyout fund it is currently raising. A first close on the fund, at €700 million, was held last year.

A spokesperson at Doughty Hanson declined to comment on ATU’s decision not to proceed with the IPO. CSFB’s Frankfurt office, which acts as co-cordinator of the transaction alongside HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt, could not be reached.