Europe’s IPO hopes for 2013 boosted by LEG’s plan to list

City A.M. Reporter
GERMAN residential property group LEG is planning to list its shares on the stock market within six months in a sign that a recent pick up in IPO activity in Europe is likely to continue.

The share sale, which could be worth around €1bn (£814m), would be a positive step for an IPO market which only started to recover in the final months of 2012 having previously struggled amid Europe’s debt crisis and a sluggish economy.

Auditor PwC said last week it expects up to 14 IPOs in Germany this year, after the country saw only two sizeable flotations in 2012, of insurer Talanx and mobile phone operator Telefonica Deutschland.

In the last year as a whole, the volume of share issues slumped more than 60 per cent despite a late pickup in IPO demand driven by rallying stock markets.

Sources close to the LEG transaction told Reuters the listing of the company, which own 91,000 residential apartments, is likely to take place in February, since an intention to float is usually issued four weeks ahead of an offering.

While the IPO recovery remains fragile, the lack of activity through much of last year has left a backlog of deals which could come to market in 2013, bankers said.

The Duesseldorf-based LEG has picked Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank as main advisers for the offering.

Berenberg Bank, Commerzbank, Erste Bank and Kempen will act as co-lead managers.

Whitehall and Perry bought LEG in 2008 from the German regional state of North Rhine-Westphalia for €3.4bn. In Germany, LEG is also the first of two large real estate groups aiming to list on the stock exchange this year. Deutsche Annington, owned by private equity firm Terra Firma, may list in late 2013.