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UPDATE 2-German solar, wind park operator CHORUS eyes third-quarter listing
June 8, 2015 / 12:06 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-German solar, wind park operator CHORUS eyes third-quarter listing

* Hopes to fetch 100 mln euros through capital increase

* Free-float of more than 80 pct post IPO -CEO

* Considers entering UK market -CEO

* Operates more than 250 MW worth of solar, wind capacity

* Had 2014 sales of 55 mln euros, EBITDA of 43.4 mln (Adds CEO comments, details on free float)

By Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT, June 8 (Reuters) - German solar and wind park operator CHORUS Clean Energy plans to list its shares on the Frankfurt stock exchange at the beginning of the third quarter, it said on Monday.

It said it hopes to fetch 100 million euros ($112 million) by selling new shares and also plans to sell stakes currently owned by unnamed investors that would amount to 4.2 percent of the company’s share capital, but did not give a value for this.

“We’re convinced that the timing is right and that we’re hitting a nerve,” Chief Executive Holger Goetze told Reuters.

Wind park operators such as CHORUS, and larger peer Capital Stage, have benefited from rising demand for energy assets, most of which offer stable returns in times of record-low interest rates.

CHORUS, founded in 1998, said it would use the proceeds from the initial public offering to expand its current portfolio - more than 250 megawatt (MW) of capacity in five European countries including Germany and Italy.

Goetze said the company, which employs about 30 staff, was also considering entering the British market, adding the company could draw on a project pipeline of more than 600 MW in Europe.

As a general rule, shares usually start trading about four weeks after the intention to float has been announced.

CHORUS, which is eyeing a listing in Frankfurt’s Prime Standard segment, had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 7.8 million euros in the first quarter, on sales of 12.4 million euros.

For 2014, sales were 55 million euros, up 10.7 percent year on year, while EBITDA was 43.4 million, giving it an EBITDA margin of 79 percent compared with 76.8 percent in the previous year.

CHORUS said it expected its IPO would include an over-allotment of up to 15 percent, covered by a greenshoe option.

Currently, about 23 percent of CHORUS is owned by the company’s founders and management and the rest by undisclosed investors.

Following the IPO the free float will be above 80 percent, Goetze said.

Founders and management intend to agree to an 18-month lock-up period for their stakes following the offering, CHORUS said, adding that the company itself would neither issue nor sell shares for six months after the IPO.

Berenberg serves as the IPO’s sole global coordinator and also works as joint bookrunner with Germany’s BHF-Bank. ($1 = 0.8961 euros) (Editing by Maria Sheahan and Susan Fenton)

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