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Norway's AutoStore valued at $12 billion, country's biggest IPO in two decades

Norway's AutoStore valued at $12 billion, country's biggest IPO in two decades
Norway's AutoStore valued at $12 billion, country's biggest IPO in two decades   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

OSLO – Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore said on Wednesday it had priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 31 Norwegian crowns per share, the top of its target range, valuing the company at 103.5 billion crowns ($12.4 billion).

SoftBank-backed AutoStore will be Norway’s most valuable new listing for two decades when it goes public on Euronext’s Oslo Stock Exchange later on Wednesday.

The company raised 2.7 billion crowns in cash from the issue of new shares, while existing owners such as Thomas H. Lee Partners, EQT and others sold stock worth 15.3 billion crowns.

Following the IPO, the free float of AutoStore shares will amount to about 17.4% of the overall equity, depending on the bookrunners’ use of an over-allotment option, also known as a greenshoe, the company has said.

Founded in 1996, AutoStore has 20,000 robots deployed across more than 35 countries to automate warehouses. The company uses robots to store and retrieve products, allowing customers to store four times the inventory in the same space.

In April, Japan’s SoftBank bought https://www.reuters.com/article/us-softbank-group-autostore-idUSKBN2BS1YC a 40% stake in the Norwegian company for $2.8 billion, valuing AutoStore at about $7 billion at the time. Softbank did not sell stock in the IPO.

AutoStore is Norway’s most valuable new listing since the 2001 debut of Statoil, now known as Equinor, which was valued at 151 billion crowns at the time of its IPO.

Four cornerstone investors, Alecta Pensionsforsakring, FIL Investments, Mawer Investment Management and WCM Investment Management, had each committed to invest $200 million ahead of the IPO.

The company, whose customers include ASDA, Gucci and Lufthansa, plans to use proceeds from the IPO to reduce debt, invest in growth and allow share sales by its investors.

AutoStore reported net revenue of $182.1 million last year and expects revenue of about $300 million in 2021, rising to more than $500 million in 2022 with a project pipeline worth $3.4 billion across 2,000 projects.

Bankers from Carnegie, J.P Morgan, Morgan Stanley, ABG Sundal Collier, Citigroup, Jefferies, Mizuho Securities, SpareBank 1 Markets and Moelis & Company were involved in the deal, AutoStore said.

($1 = 8.3474 Norwegian crowns)