Latvian Shipping Company to push first IPO in Riga in over a decade

By bne IntelliNews December 17, 2015

Marine petroleum transportation specialist Latvian Shipping Company (LSC) hopes to raise €80mn via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Riga Stock Exchange in the first half of 2016, the company announced on December 17.

Should it go through, the listing would be the first on the Latvian bourse in over a decade. SAF Tehnika, a communications technology company, carried out an IPO in 2004. A successful float could offer a boost for the Latvian capital market, with local companies typically opting for bank financing rather than trying to tap capital markets.

Citadele Bank was the last to try an offer in Riga. However, its IPO was pulled in November, with the bank citing “ongoing unfavourable market conditions”.

LSC is looking to double its share capital and raise equity of €80mn in order to pay down existing debts due in 2016 and 2017. The IPO is subject to approval by a shareholders meeting planned for April 2016.

Meanwhile, the company’s ownership has undergone some changes recently, following oil trade Vitol Group’s recent controversial acquisition and subsequent delisting of Ventspils Nafta (VN). VN owns a 49% stake in LSC.

LSC ranks among the biggest vessel owners in the segment of medium and handy size tankers, with a “leading position in terms of transported amount of petroleum products among similar companies in Northern Europe,” the company said in a statement.

The company posted a loss of €1.3mn after three quarters of 2015, a substantial reduction on the loss of €13mn in the same period of 2014, according to the company’s financial report.

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