EQT-backed SUSE falls short in Frankfurt IPO

May 19, 2021
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange has been home to major PE-backed IPOs this year.
(Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Shares in open-source software provider SUSE opened below the offering price in the company's Frankfurt debut, as volatility in Europe's stock markets dampens investor enthusiasm.

The German company set its IPO price at €30 per share, giving it a market cap of around €5 billion (about $6.1 billion), but its shares opened at €29.50 apiece, before ultimately trading flat. EQT-backed SUSE was initially seeking as much as €34 per share in its debut.

PE-backed IPOs have had a busy start to the year in Europe, with 31 listings worth over €30 billion in Q1, on track to beat last year’s numbers. But not everyone has benefited from the boom. Company performance in these listings has been a mixed bag as the ongoing fallout from the pandemic, including fears of inflation and more lockdowns, impacts investor sentiment.
Online investment platform Allfunds, which is backed by investors including Hellman & Friedman, was one company that saw stellar results, with its stock rising by as much as 17% in its IPO last month. And Exponent Private Equity-backed greeting card company Moonpig saw its shares jump 25.7% in its February debut.

Others have not fared as well as hoped. Shares in Synlab, which also listed in Frankfurt, opened flat in April after the Cinven-backed company priced its IPO at the low end of its range. Moreover, Hg Capital-owned online car trader MeinAuto canceled its listing plans, citing adverse market conditions. Swedish payments company Trustly, which is backed by Nordic Capital, also postponed its IPO.

SUSE and its backers sold 37.8 million shares in the listing, for a total of €1.1 billion. EQT, which bought the company in 2018 for $2.5 billion, will retain a stake. SUSE reported revenue of $503 million for the 2020 financial year.

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