May 4, 2018 / 11:21 AM / in a year

Shares in transport firm Ceva Logistics drop in Swiss debut

ZURICH (Reuters) - Shares in transport group Ceva Logistics (CEVAL.S) fell more than 8 percent on their Swiss market debut on Friday as even pricing at the bottom end of its share offer range failed to spur demand in Switzerland’s biggest IPO this year.

FILE PHOTO: CEO Xavier Urbain of transport firm Ceva Logistics addresses a news conference on the occasion of the company's planned flotation on the Swiss stock exchange in Zurich April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Owned by private equity firm Apollo (APO.N), Ceva Logistics raised 1.2 billion Swiss francs (886 million pounds) in an offering of new shares that included CMA CGM Group taking a roughly 25 percent stake.

By mid-session, the stock was down 8.1 percent from the offer price of 27.50 francs per share.

One market participant said the stock was too expensive compared with listed Swiss peers like Kuehne+Nagel (KNIN.S) and Panalpina (PWTN.S).

Turbulent markets have put the brakes on deals and listings, with several scrapped IPOs - including those of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group’s Gategroup and Swissport in Switzerland - costing bankers money in recent months.

“Investors can take their pick given the large number of European IPOs,” one banker said. “They have hardly made any money from IPOs of late so they are taking a very close look in the meantime.”

Newcomers like Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) funds unit DWS (DWSG.DE) and Bavarian drugmaker Dermapharm (DMPG.DE) are trading below their issue prices.

The next test of sentiment comes with next week’s listing of scientific publisher Springer Nature, which plans to raise up to 1.6 billion euros (1.4 billion pounds).

In Switzerland, the next big deal could be for packing group SIG, which sources say plans an IPO in the second half.

Antibiotics group Polyphor (POLN.S) starts trading in Switzerland on May 15 in a deal meeting relatively brisk demand.

Ceva Logistics, whose clients include Ikea, Amazon (AMZN.O) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), is using proceeds from its share sale to reduce debt.

One person familiar with the situation said around of a quarter of the shares sold went to hedge funds and the rest mostly to institutional investors. Interest was slight from Swiss investors, especially retail, another source said.

Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter

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