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Stock Exchange is closed for medium

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Joyou-Aktie: Nur wenige Unternehmen stemmen derzeit einen Börsengang ohne die Hilfe von Finanzinvestoren. Quelle: dpa

Joyou share: Few companies brace currently an IPO without the help of financial investors. Source: AP

FRANKFURT. The node has burst: After several rejections have in the past year in the last weeks in Germany, several companies made the leap to the trading floor. But especially since the middle years weakly capitalized threatened as staying on the track. Lack of investor interest is the Initial Public Offering (IPO) for small and medium-sized companies still rarely a realistic option.

"Prepare the problem of how the middle class gives access to the exchange, is unresolved and may a headache," says Andreas Zanner, IPO expert at the law firm CMS Hasche Sigle economy. So-called small-and mid-caps fall of the IPO are still extremely difficult: "In purely economic terms is the concern." Stephan Leithner, the world for customer service in investment banking at Deutsche Bank responsible is expected, initially with little improvement. "Although there have been successful IPOs in Germany by mid-sized businesses, from our point of view in the current year does not take very many SMEs the way to the stock exchange in attack," predicts the manager.

Three exits of financial investors

Indeed, with Brenntag, Cable Germany (KDG) and Tom Tailor In recent weeks almost all the IPO firms have dared to come from the portfolios of financial investors. Only in Joyou this was not the case. But as a Chinese manufacturer of fittings, the company is already an exotic car – from the German Mittelstand no trace. KDG and chemical distributors Brenntag also have an issue size, suggesting the comparison to the rather large corporations. With the Berlin real estate company, GSW is also yet another IPO in the wings, which is in the hands of private equity funds.

It would also be in the middle class in this country in great need of its own resources. Every third German company – and most of them are small and medium size – works according to calculations by the credit reference agency Creditreform still with an equity ratio, which is seen as critical under the limit of ten percent.

No panacea

Bundesverband Sized Businesses (BVMW) although it warns against seeing the IPO as a panacea. Often, the former owners feel restricted by the transparency obligations. Moreover, there is a risk that stocks would just with little liquidity "at the mercy of gamblers," it says. But in cases where the operator was planning to phase or a larger volume of investment must be implemented quickly, the IPO was quite useful. "Companies that want to lead the next technological innovation cycle belong to the stock market," concludes BVMW President Mario Ohoven.

The willingness is there

In fact, many a smaller company may now make friends with a listing. "Meanwhile, there are also some medium-sized companies that flirt with the stock market entirely," says CMS Consultants Zanner. His assessment is supported by the results of the recent Handelsblatt business monitor.

The March survey of 781 companies drawn that about one in ten takes a capital increase or the IPO considered. Among the smaller companies the percentage is only eight percent, on medium already at 16 percent. Especially with service providers and companies in mining, energy, chemical, or the interest is higher than average. This clearly demonstrates that the stereotype of the capital market has had its mid-sized spare, at least in some cases – the reasons for the lack of IPOs in the segment are to be found elsewhere.

First, investors hardly interest even for small businesses. "IPOs have to have a size of several hundred million euros, or they will not run," says Hugh Sullivan, head of the Germany- Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Investors demand in times of crisis for liquid stocks, where they can easily get in and one." Otherwise the risk is too large to enter markets in a burglary of high losses.

This argument is also confirmed by Stephan Winter, head of German investment banking from UBS. He points out that larger IPOs simply more attractive to the investing funds. "Your efforts in the examination of investment for small and large businesses is approximately the same," says Winter. "Therefore, the use of resources in larger companies for the fund is worth more."

In addition, the existing Kapitalnot many companies they can paradoxically be rather unattractive for an IPO. Because an IPO is from the perspective of investors ahead of an attractive investment story. "This is hardly to convey, if I strive only for the purpose of refinancing the leap to the floor," says investment banker winter.

Ein Börsengang setzt aus Sicht der Investoren eine attraktive Investmentstory voraus. Quelle: dpa

An IPO is from the perspective of investors ahead of an attractive investment story. Source: AP

This is expected, especially for those SMEs that pay off its debts and improve its balance sheet, must remain for the time being, only the private sale of shares left – that is, the search for a private equity investor or a mezzanine provider. And for larger companies is possibly resorting to new debt, such as through the issuance of bonds or dividend rights.

A long process

Rothschild-Germany boss Martin Reitz still expects the longer term, with a progressive opening of the middle class for the capital market. It was not only the interests of investors, that may hinder this. As before, the entrepreneur might be difficult to get used to the idea to give some control in the hands of strangers. "But I think the trend is irreversible," says Reitz. "Who are the medium is once again public offerings of small businesses."

IPOs

Doldrums: It is almost two years ago, a German SME has made its way to the stock exchange. In June 2008, debuted GK Software in the Prime Standard with a placement volume of 8.7 million. A few days later, collected the solar supplier SMA Solar Technology 361.9 million euro. After the German IPO market came to a virtual standstill.

Special vehicles: Attract also hopes to SMEs through the detour of the merger on an empty shell to the stock exchange, has not been met. Currently, there are in this country only two of these SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies). Issued in February Helikos also still looking for the right company.