Azelis to Raise $1 Billion in Biggest Belgian IPO Since 2007
(Bloomberg) -- Specialty-chemical and food-ingredient distributor Azelis SA plans to raise 880 million euros ($1.04 billion) in an initial public offering on Euronext Brussels in what could be the biggest stock-market listing in Belgium in 14 years.
Proceeds from the offering will be used to ease the company’s debt burden while providing firepower for acquisitions.
“Azelis has been and will continue to be a consolidator among specialty-chemicals and food-ingredient suppliers,” Chief Executive Officer Hans Joachim Mueller said in a phone interview.
The offering is set to be the biggest initial share sale in Brussels since metals supplier Nyrstar NV’s listing in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Azelis is part of a wave of companies expected to go public this fall in Europe. Cybersecurity provider Exclusive Networks said Friday it will list in Paris, while French private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners SA also said it’s working on an IPO. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Petershill unit announced Monday it plans to list a new investment vehicle in London.
“Given the level of maturity of the company, it feels right to list now,” Muller said, noting that the business grew during the pandemic. Azelis’s adjusted earnings rose by 16% in 2020 from the year before, according to the statement.
Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Azelis distributes specialty chemicals used in everything from animal nutrition to industrial cleaning. The company has about 2,800 employees in 56 countries, according to the statement.
Swedish buyout firm EQT AB acquired Azelis in 2018 from Apax Partners for an undisclosed amount. Canada’s PSP Investments was a co-investor in the deal.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators, with bookrunners Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, HSBC Holdings Plc and ING Bank NV on the IPO. Cooperatieve Rabobank and Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg are co-lead managers, while Lazard Ltd. is Azelis’s financial adviser.
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