KDM Shipping completes Ukraine's first IPO of 2012 in Warsaw

By bne IntelliNews July 26, 2012

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Despite a daunting set of obstacles, Ukraine's KDM Shipping priced its IPO in Warsaw late on July 24. Unsurprisingly, in pushing through the first Ukrainian equity placement of 2012, the company was forced to slash the size of the offer.

Brushing aside concerns over the rising fear in the markets as they're stalked by the Eurozone crisis, Ukraine's frankly terrible press and struggling fiscal position, the poor grain harvest, and the summer lull on the markets, the dry bulk carrier set a final offer price at PLN32.4 per share. While that is not too shabby considering the upper end of its initial range was PLN36, it was forced to cut the amount of share on offer considerably.

The listing will now see the company issue 729,475 new shares to institutional investors, with a further 66,525 going to retail investors, on July 27, to raise a total of PLN25.8m ($7.4m). That's a sharp drop from the PLN126m I originally targeted from an issue of 3.5m shares.

However, CEO Kostiantyn Molodkovets put on a brave face, saying in a company statement: "We are pleased with the interest shown by investors during the public offering, despite the discouraging situation on the capital markets. Taking the company public is an element of the implementation of our long-term growth strategy, and the listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange will be the beginning of our long-term relationship with the Polish capital market, based on transparency, which we intend to maintain.

"Although we will raise less proceeds than we anticipated," he admitted, "they will enable us to begin the process of expanding our fleet in order to take advantage of the excellent growth prospects of the river-sea dry bulk freight sector in the Black, Azov and Mediterranean sea region in which we operate. We are happy that the investors who appreciate our unique business model and strong fundamentals will be able to participate in the further growth of the company."

Following allocation of the new share issue, KDM says it hopes to start trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on August 9, to become the 11th company on the WIG-Ukraine index. Analysts suggest that the diversity that KDM offers may have helped the rushed sale - the IPO was only announced in mid-July - get over the obstacles, with seven members of the index in the agricultural sector.

However, quite why KDM insisted on pressing on with the listing during a week in which Spain has caused panic in the markets is hard to gauge, particularly given that the proceeds are marked down for investment, rather than forced by debt or other such imperatives. Others planning IPOs - Czech software maker Avast for instance - have been quick to pull out this week.

Analysts asked by the Kyiv Post sound stumped, other than to suggest KDM assumes even tougher times are ahead.

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