Wirtualna Polska up 9% on Warsaw debut

By bne IntelliNews May 7, 2015

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Online media group Wirtualna Polska debuted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on May 7, with the stock trading at PLN35.02 (€8.64) per share at the close, 9.4% up from the IPO price of PLN32.

The company’s stock opened up by 10.2% at PLN 35.25. Wirtualna Polska shareholders offered 9.19 mln shares, including 3.34 mln new shares, in its IPO that was priced at PLN32 apiece, short of the PLN37 that topped the initial price range. The reduced pricing of the IPO put the company’s valuation at around PLN1bn.

The much anticipated float debuted amidst a boom in activity in Polish TMT, as investors seek exposure to growing consumer spending. "Consumption is growing nicely," Tomasz Krukowski of Deutsche Bank told bne Intellinews in March, "and there's not many opportunities to play it. The WSE is full of banks and heavy industry."

In line with consumers' growing appetites, the Polish advertising market is forecast to rise by around 5% overall in 2015, with the internet segment expected to grow by up to 10%, suggest forecasts. Wirtualna Polska’s flagship product is an online portal of the same name, with close to 16mn users, deriving revenue from online and email ads.

With PLN50mn-80mn of the proceeds from the IPO to be allocated to acquisitions, Wirtualna Polska’s CEO Jacek Swiderski told reporters on the debut day that the company could announce its first acquisition in the coming weeks.

Also on May 7, supporting the IPO, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) acquired a minority stake in Wirtualna Polska for €7.1mn. Reuters said that the deal equals to around 3% stake in the company.

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