Evonik chemicals maker cashes in on stock market debut | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.04.2013
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Evonik chemicals maker cashes in on stock market debut

Shares in chemicals maker Evonik have jumped during their first day of trading in the German stock market, completing a successful initial public offering for the German firm. Evonik now aims to expand its operations.

Shares in German speciality chemicals maker Evonik traded at about 33 euros ($43) in early trading on Thursday - up from the 32.20 euros at which it was issued during the company's initial public offering (IPO).

Just over 9 million shares - about 2 percent of Evonik's share capital - were being placed with primarily institutional investors, Deutsche Bank, which handled the issue, said. An additional 1.3 million shares, which were originally planned to be held in reserve, were also sold in view of the strong demand.

"Unfortunately we had to decline requests from investors, who in the end sought to buy up to 5 percent of the shares on offer," Evonik Chief Executive Werner Müller said.

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Evonik enters stock market

Evonik and its owner RAG Foundation repeatedly postponed IPO plans, claiming that weak stock markets last year would not have ensured the appropriate valuation of the company. The company makes chemicals for the health and nutrition sectors, as well as materials, coatings and additives. It has annual sales of about 14.5 billion euros.

The IPO means that about 14 percent of the Evonik stock is now publicly traded. Some 68 percent are being held by majority shareholder RAG, and 18 percent by CVC financial investors, who both said they wanted to reduce their stakes to about 25 percent maximum.

Earnings from the IPO as well as from additional share sales were intended to be used for mergers and aquisitions, Evonik chairman Klaus Engel told the German business daily "Handelsblatt" on Thursday.

"We are mainly interested in acquiring businesses in the health and nutrition sectors, but also those which specialize in resource efficiency and speciality chemicals and materials," he said.

Müller added that the company would be able to easily spend up to a billion euros on new acquisitions, but declined to say if there were already specific plans for that.

uhe/ccp (Reuters, AFP)

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