IPO Market Stumbles in Denmark as $1 Billion Deal In Doubt

Denmark has been home to some of Europe’s bigger initial public offerings of late, thanks to listings of Dong Energy A/S and Nets A/S. That’s provided a lucrative setting for investment banks.

But now, what could have been the biggest Nordic bank IPO in about two decades might not happen at all. Nykredit Realkredit A/S, Denmark’s biggest mortgage bank with about $215 billion in assets, said on Friday it may pull an IPO that was set to take place in the first quarter.

People familiar with the talks said in September Nykredit might have raised $1 billion through an IPO. But the lender now stands to get as much as $2.3 billion from a group of Danish pension funds in exchange for a minority stake. So why list?

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Danske Bank A/S have been assisting Nykredit as global coordinators for the potential IPO. Morgan Stanley and Danske declined to comment. JPMorgan didn’t return emails seeking response.

The History

“There have been some unfortunate examples with recent IPOs,”  Jacob Pedersen, head of equity analysis at Sydbank, said by phone. “OW Bunker is the most striking example with an IPO history you normally don’t see in a developed western economy. Nets is also an example of a strange IPO.”

“And we have a lot of large Danish companies that have done very well without ever being listed,” such as Grundfos, Danfoss and Lego, he said.

Nets A/S

The Nordic digital payments firm, went public in September last year. It started trading at 150 kroner, but fell almost 30 percent through March this year. Then takeover speculation started driving the shares higher until U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC said in September they’d buy Nets for 165 kroner a share.

Orsted A/S

Dong Energy, which has since changed its name to Orsted, went public in June last year. The company — which in Denmark will forever be associated with a government split caused by the arrival of Goldman Sachs as an investor in 2014 — has since its IPO risen about 45 percent. Goldman exited Orsted last month.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S

The Danish cigar maker gave its investors a return of about 25 percent in the 12 months after its February 2016 IPO. But then the company ran into IT problems which prevented it from taking online orders and the shares are now down 13 percent from a Feb. 17 peak.

Novo Spinoff

NNIT A/S is an IT company that was brought to market in March 2015 by Novo Nordisk A/S, the world’s biggest insulin producer. The shares more than doubled in value over the first 16 months, but have since struggled. Still, the stock is currently about 40 percent up from the IPO price.

Novo Holdings A/S is among owners taking Orphazyme A/S to market, the biotechnology company said on Monday. The implied market value could be as high as 1.6 billion kroner ($250 million), with the official listing set to take place on Nov. 17, it said.

OW Bunker A/S

The ship-fuel trader was valued at almost $1 billion in its March 2014 IPO. But just eight months into its stock-exchange life, OW Bunker declared bankruptcy in one of Denmark’s biggest financial scandals. Shareholders lost all their money after it emerged that senior executives at the firm had committed fraud and its banks pulled the plug.


The world’s largest cleaning service provider had to pull its IPO in the last minute in March 2011 as stock markets plunged amid Japan’s nuclear disaster. ISS eventually listed three years later, and has performed well on the Danish exchange with the shares currently trading more than 70 percent higher than the IPO price.

Matas A/S

The drugstore was listed in June 2013 by private equity fund CVC Capital Partners Ltd. Those who bought shares in Matas have since lost about 40 percent. Hedge funds this year started raising their short bets against the stock.