Biggest IPO in Norway since 2001

NORWEGIAN non-life insurer Gjensidige launched its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) yesterday, likely to be the biggest float in Norway since oil company Statoil floated in 2001.

Gjensidige said the indicative price range was 54-64 Norwegian crowns per share. That would value it at 27-32bn Norwegian crowns (£2.79bn-£3.3bn).

Up to 200m shares will be sold, a source close to the deal said, which would mean proceeds from the share sale of 10.8-12.8bn crowns.

The Gjensidige Foundation, which owns Gjensidige, has said it will sell 25-40 per cent of its shares in the IPO.

Analysts have said the listing of Norway’s largest property and casualty insurer was a step towards a possible tie-up with fellow Norwegian insurer Storebrand, in which Gjensidige has a 24.3 per cent stake.

Storebrand, which specialises in life insurance, said last year it had tried and failed to merge with Gjensidige.

Gjensidige has talked for years about listing. Its previous attempt to list on the Oslo bourse was abandoned during the global financial crisis.

The book building and order period for the IPO was expected to end 9 December, Gjensidige said.

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