December 12, 2013 / 5:06 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Faltering Gorenje listing may augur badly for Slovenia sell-off

4 Min Read

* Weak demand for appliance maker's Warsaw listing -sources

* Gorenje says will proceed with listing on Warsaw bourse, plans debut by year-end

* Slovenia's shaky economy a factor in putting off investors

By Pawel Bernat

WARSAW, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Slovenian household appliance maker Gorenje has failed to line up buyers for all shares on offer in a planned listing in Warsaw, three sources close to the issue said on Thursday, with Slovenia's debt crisis deterring investors.

The listing could be a barometer of how much investor appetite there will be for other Slovenian stocks at a time when the government in Ljubljana is preparing to privatise more than a dozen businesses to raise badly-needed cash.

Gorenje, in which Japan's Panasonic Corp is a minority shareholder, is planning an offering on the Warsaw stock exchange, central Europe's biggest bourse. It is already listed in Slovenia.

Book-building, or collecting expressions of interest from investors in buying shares, was completed on Wednesday. The sources told Reuters that buyers had not been found for all the shares in the issue.

The company wanted to raise 45 million euros through a public offering of 10.44 million new shares which - if sold - would constitute 36 percent of the increased capital.

"The books have not been fully covered," one of the sources said.

In a statement sent to Reuters on Thursday, the firm said it was "proceeding with the activities for listing Gorenje shares on the Warsaw stock exchange by the end of 2013". It said it would publish the offering results on Dec. 18, as planned.

According to the offer's prospectus, the planned date of the stock's market debut in Warsaw is Dec. 30.

Two other sources confirmed the book in Warsaw had not been covered. They pointed to the company's debt and the troubled Slovenian economy as the reasons.

"The company has over 300 million euros of debt and high debt ratios. The market was not convinced its restructuring programme will be successful," said a second source.

"Slovenia as a country also has its problems... And other Slovenian companies on the Warsaw bourse do not have a good track record. That certainly did not help in the placement of the offer," said the second source.

Slovenia is struggling to avoid having to follow Cyprus, Spain, Ireland, Greece Portugal and Spain into seeking an international bailout to keep its economy afloat.

It announced on Thursday that its banks would need 4.8 billion euros in extra capital to plug holes in its balance sheet. It said it could find the money without seeking outside help.

Companies short-listed for sale by the Slovenian state include Slovenia's largest telecoms operator, Telekom Slovenia, its second-biggest bank, Nova KBM, paint producer Helios, national airline Adria Airways and Ljubljana airport.

All of them are all wholly or majority-owned by the state. Slovenia is hopeing to attract interest from Deutsche Telekom , Telenor and other groups in the sale of the Telekom stake.

The book-runner for the Gorenje public offering, Polish brokerage BZ WBK, declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7251 euros) (Reporting by Pawel Bernat; Editing by Christian Lowe and Anthony Barker)

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