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Stadler announces IPO plan

19 Mar 2019

SWITZERLAND: Plans for an initial public offering and listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange were announced by rolling stock manufacturer Stadler on March 19.

The IPO is planned for ‘the coming months’, subject to market conditions. It would consist entirely of secondary shares held directly and indirectly by Executive Chairman Peter Spuhler, who currently holds 80% of the share capital. The remainder is held by RAG Stiftung (10%) and key employees (10%).

‘Since I acquired Stadler in 1989 with 18 employees, we have experienced a strong growth momentum due to our focused organic expansion, particularly from 2008 onwards’, said Spuhler. ‘Today, we target attractive market segments and regions and have established ourselves as a leader in our home markets in Europe. The planned IPO on SIX Swiss Exchange is a logical next step in Stadler’s growth trajectory’.

Spuhler said a public listing was ‘a strong manifestation of reputation and quality, two attributes already deeply ingrained in our culture of Swiss excellence, and will support the further development of Stadler’. He intends to remain as Executive Chairman and ‘remain fully committed as a shareholder to the continued success of Stadler.’

Differentiated value proposition

Group CEO Dr Thomas Ahlburg said the IPO would create ‘increased public visibility and a better comparability with our rail and Swiss industrial peers’. This would ‘help accelerate our strategic initiatives for next-level growth and further attract the best talents available in an increasingly technology-driven industry’, he believed.

Stadler now has more than 8 500 employees, and has sold more than 8 000 trainsets and locomotives for operation in 41 countries.

The company said it offers ‘a differentiated value proposition that matters to its customers’, producing rolling stock meeting complex requirements and offering low life-cycle costs with high reliability and availability. This has produced an ‘attractive’ financial profile with strong growth and profitability, high revenue visibility and asset efficiency and an unlevered balance sheet.

The Rolling Stock production business segment generated 88% of revenue in 2018, while Service & Components with activities ranging from spare part supply to full life-cycle management generated 12%.

Stadler is aiming to increase its revenue from SFr2bn to SFr4bn by 2020, through product development, consolidating its presence in key European markets, targeted expansion in new regions, growing the services business and developing proprietary signalling technology.

Advisers

Credit Suisse and UBS are acting as joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners for the IPO. BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Zürcher Kantonalbank are acting as joint bookrunners and UniCredit Bank as co-lead manager, while Reichmuth & Co, St Galler Kantonalbank and Thurgauer Kantonalbank are acting as selling agents.

Alantra is acting as independent financial adviser to Stadler and Spuhler. Niederer Kraft Frey and BianchiSchwald are acting as legal advisers to Stadler and Spuhler, with Lenz & Staehelin representing the bank syndicate.

Stadler financial data, SFr million
Year 2018 2017 2016
Order intake 4 389 3 441 4 765
Order backlog 13 179 11 044 9 304
Net revenue 2 001 2 428 2 065
EBITDA 208 245 219
EBITDA margin 10·4% 10·1% 10·6%
EBIT 151 191 179
EBIT margin 7·5% 7·9% 8·7%
Net cash 532 960 629
Net working capital (323) (710) (443)
Economic profit margin 5·7% 7·3% 7·5%