* Shares trade at 52.08 euros, 4pct above issue price
* Suggests growing appetite for certain stock listings
* Total issue volume of 747.5 million euros ($1 billion)
(Recasts, adds comment and background, updates shares)
By Christoph Steitz and Alexander Huebner
FRANKFURT, March 29 (Reuters) - Brenntag AG (BNRGn.DE), the world’s biggest chemicals distributor, got a warm reception in its market debut as Germany’s second-biggest flotation this year, suggesting growing investor demand for selected new stock offerings.
Brenntag shares changed hands at 52.08 euros by 1229 GMT on Monday, 4 percent above their 50 euros issue price and outperforming the STOXX Europe 600 chemicals index .SX4P which was 0.3 percent higher.
Brenntag’s listing came as the global market for initial public offerings (IPOs) gathers pace after a number of downsizings and postponements. [ID:nN09165245]
A week ago, cable television company Kabel Deutschland KD8Gn.DE failed to gather much support in Europe’s biggest listing so far in 2010, closing just 1.1 percent above the issue price of 22 euros per share. [ID:nLDE62L045]
“The market does differentiate when it comes to new listings. Kabel Deutschland is operating in the consumer segment and investors are still sceptical in this sector at the moment,” said Joerg Rahn, chief investment officer at wealth management company Marcard, Stein & Co in Hamburg.
“But when it comes to chemical stocks, such as Brenntag, the situation looks different.”
Brenntag, which competes with Britain’s Bunzl Plc (BNZL.L), on Saturday said it had issued its shares at 50 euros apiece to raise a total of 747.5 million euros ($1 billion). [ID:nLDE62Q0C1]
Controlled by private equity group BC Partners [BCPRT.UL], Brenntag is the fourth company to float successfully on Germany’s stock market in 2010, just a day before Chinese bathroom appliances maker Joyou JY8G.DE. [ID:nLDE62Q03Z]
Asked about business in the first quarter, Brenntag Chief Executive Stephen Clark told Reuters: “We have seen demand coming back and have left the recession to some extent.”
Brenntag, which started in 1874 as an egg trader in Berlin, swung to a net profit of 0.5 million euros last year from a loss of 41.8 million in 2008.
It has about 150,000 customers worldwide, among them Airbus EAD.PA, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and Novartis NOVN.VX. (Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.7439 Euro)