February 26, 2018 / 8:02 AM / in 10 months

Silicon-maker Elkem plans Oslo IPO as Chinese owner cuts stake

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Elkem, a producer of silicon for solar panels and a supplier to steel makers and chemical firms, plans to raise some 5 billion Norwegian crowns ($640.16 million) in an initial public offering, it said on Monday.

China National Bluestar, which paid about $2 billion for Elkem in 2011, will reduce its stake while remaining a long-term majority shareholder following the listing expected in Oslo by the end of this quarter.

Elkem will use some of the proceeds to buy Jiangxi Bluestar Xinghuo Organic Silicone and Bluestar Silicon Material to expand in the fast-growing Chinese market, it said.

“Bluestar has succeeded in making Elkem a global player in silicon and sees this as the right time to invite other investors to join,” Elkem spokeswoman Kristin Karlstad said.

The 114-year-old company, which was delisted from the Oslo bourse in 2005, will have about 6,100 employees when the Chinese businesses are included.

Elkem’s 2017 revenues rose to 21.4 billion crowns on a proforma basis, from 16.9 billion the previous year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to 3.15 billion crowns from 1.54 billion.

The company said it aims for double-digit revenue growth in 2018.

Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord and Joachim Dagenborg, writing by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Louise Heavens

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