EQT’s Dometic to revive Swedish IPOs

EQT portfolio company Dometic is set to overcome the 18-month IPO drought in Sweden with a listing worth up to Skr7.4bn (E823m) next month.

Dometic, a Swedish domestic appliance manufacturer, is to take advantage of improving conditions on the Stockholm Stock Exchange with a planned IPO next month.

The firm, which makes fridges and air conditioning units for boats and caravans, will offer 15.7m shares to domestic and international investors priced at SKr190 to SKr240 (E21.1 to E26.7). The offer is equal to 51.3 per cent of the company and includes 5.7m new shares. Enskilda Securities and Merrill Lynch are acting as joint global co-ordinators while Deutsche Bank and Handelsbanken are co-leads.

The Stockholm Stock Exchange was in the doldrums for three years, but in 2003 it has risen more than 25 per cent. Despite this, confidence remains fragile and private equity firms will be watching with interest to see how the Dometic IPO fares. Reuters reports that Industri Kapital is considering listings for Oriflame, the cosmetics group, and VSM, a manufacturer of sewing machines.

“Exit prospects are improving,” said Vesa Suurmunne, chief executive of mezzanine provider Nordic Mezzanine. “As well as confidence in the future of IPOs, there has been an increase in the number of secondary buyouts and trade sales in recent months.”  

Dometic posted sales of SKr6.4bn (E711m) last year and an EBITDA margin of 15 per cent. It has benefited from a decline in holidays involving flights following September 11 2001, and an increase in the use of caravans and other recreational vehicles. The company, which has 4,000 employees, is also profiting from an ageing population, as older people are more likely to buy recreational vehicles.

EQT, which acquires medium-sized companies in Northern Europe, earlier this month bought Sirona Group, the German dental equipment manufacturer, from Permira for E417.5m.