Mid Europa dents hopes of Waberer IPO as it raises stake in Hungarian haulage firm

By bne IntelliNews June 22, 2016

Mid Europa Partners has acquired the shares of the founder and CEO of Hungarian freight transport company Waberer, the private equity firm said in a press release issued on June 22.

CEO Gyorgy Waberer will retire from active participation in the company after 35 years. The deal appears to dash hopes that the company could revive a bid to IPO in Budapest soon, after pulling a float in November. Analysts suggested to bne IntelliNews earlier this year that Waberer was perhaps the prime private company expected to help the revival of the Budapest Stock Exchange.

Mid Europa will increase its stake in the company to 97.1% from 56.8%. It's thought the private equity firm is unlikely to resurrect the effort to list. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank bought control of the BSE in November, and says it wants to shake the sleepy bourse back into life.

Large IPOs from both state and privately-controlled companies are seen as flagship deals to push the process forward. However, the privatisation of a full stake in lender MKB in April already appears to have put a dent in that plan. The apparent removal of Waberer from the list will not help.

“Mid Europa will continue to build on the company’s achievements over the last five years of cooperation and partnership with Mr. Waberer, during which Mid Europa enabled and accelerated Waberer’s dynamic growth and internationalization, commencing with a significant equity capital injection in 2011”, the venture capital investor wrote.

Mid Europa noted that Waberer’s has grown its truck fleet from some 2,300 vehicles in 2010 to approximately 3,500 currently. It ranks as Hungary’s leading road haulage company and Europe’s third largest. Bigger rivals in Europe are France's Norbert Dentressangle and Transalliance.

Waberer's biggest foreign markets are Germany, France and the United Kingdom. It has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, the UK and Italy.



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