* Ship fuel supplier OW Bunker prices its IPO at DKK 145 per
* Shares opened 17.9 pct. higher than IPO price
* Listing put pressure on competitors' shares
By Ole Mikkelsen
COPENHAGEN, March 28 Shares in Danish ship fuel
supplier OW Bunker opened 17.9 percent above the initial
public offering (IPO) price of 145 crowns on Friday.
The company's successful debut on Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen
reflected Europe's strong equity capital markets that have begun
2014 with their best annual start since 2007.
Shares in OW Bunker were sold for 145 crowns each, just
below the top of the 120-150 crowns range. Some analysts said
ahead of the listing that price range was too high when it was
compared with price earnings levels for competitors like World
Fuel Services Corp, Chemoil Energy and Aegean
Marine Petroleum Network.
OW Bunker has a price earnings ratio of 16.4 and a market
valuation of $1.05 billion. Comparable figures for World Fuel
Services are 13.3 and $3.14 billion and for Aegean Marine
Petroleum Network 12.1 and $450 million.
According to analysts from Alm. Brand Markets, the listing
of OW Bunker, which has a global market share of around 7
percent, has put pressure on shares of World Fuel Services and
Aegean Marine Petroleum over the past week.
The company has issued 758,621 new shares and raised gross
proceeds of 110 million crowns, while OW Bunker's major
shareholder, private equity company Altor has sold 17.9 million
shares. The company will have a free float of between 52-60
percent, depending on whether an over-allotment option is
Retail investors in Denmark have been allocated
approximately 15 percent of shares in the sale, while 85 percent
have been set aside for Danish and international institutional
"We are very pleased with and proud of the substantial
interest we have received from private and institutional
investors in Denmark as well as from international investors,"
Chief Executive Jim Pedersen said in a statement.
Analyst Jacob Pedersen from Sydbank said of the strong
debut: "Investors have accepted OW Bunker as both a dividend and
a growth story."
The company's global market share has increased by 75
percent to 7 percent.
Ship fuel counts for around 70 percent of all costs for
shipping companies and in recent years there has been a stronger
focus on fuel efficiency.
The world's biggest container shipping company, Maersk Line,
a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, reduced bunker
consumption for its more than 500 vessels by 12.1 percent in
OW Bunker's revenue amounted to $17 billion in 2013 but fuel
is sold with a low margin.
At 1246 GMT the company's shares traded at 166 crowns.
($1 = 5.4340 Danish Crowns)
(Additional reporting by Stine Buch Jacobsen, editing by Terje
Solsvik and Stephen Powell)