July 9, 2018 / 10:08 AM / 3 months ago

OC Oerlikon pulls IPO for low-profit drives unit

ZURICH (Reuters) - Industrial group OC Oerlikon (OERL.S) shelved a listing for its drives unit on Monday citing market volatility, adding to signs that the Swiss IPO market, which got off to a strong start this year, is cooling.

Oerlikon is the third company to ditch an initial public offering in Switzerland this year. HNA Group [HNAIRC.UL] postponed floating units Gategroup and Swissport in March and April.

Oerlikon had planned to raise up to 620 million Swiss francs ($628 million) by selling its GrazianoFairfield business, which makes transmissions for Lamborghini and Ferrari and other sports car makers as well as equipment used in construction and mining.

Oerlikon had set a price range of 48 to 62 francs per share.

But with the benchmark Swiss Market Index .SSMI down more than 7 percent this year Oerlikon could not find investors willing to pay the asking price.

While Oerlikon’s GrazianoFairfield drive systems segment is the company’s second-biggest behind its surface solutions business, its the operating margins have long been lower.

A significant share of the business is also exposed to cyclical industries including agriculture, construction and mining.

These factors, coupled with souring markets, helped temper investor appetite, said Baader Helvea analyst Reto Amstalden.

“Investors’ risk aversion has increased significantly over the last weeks,” Amstalden said.

CEO Roland Fischer said in a statement: “We will further invest in our Surface Solutions and Manmade Fibers businesses, both organically and through targeted acquisitions, and will revisit the listing of the Drive Systems Segment when market conditions are appropriate.”

Trading had been planned to start on July 11.

Oerlikon shares were up 0.7 percent by 0843 GMT.

SOURING MARKET

There were seven listings in Switzerland through June, more than in all of 2018, according to the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Commodities business Blackstone Resources listed bearer shares on Monday.

However, only two companies — sensors maker Sensirion (SENSI.S) and medical devices company Medartis (MEDA.S) — are trading above their listing price.

More than a dozen IPOs have been canceled this year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Editing by John Revill and Jason NeelyAll yours

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