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Ice-cold: Nordic IPOs remain frozen

In the first quarter of 2024 so far, Nordic ECM has had glacial progress on IPOs, with few new deals hitting the market.

According to Dealogic, across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, there was a combined USD 6.69m of IPO issuance.

Last year ended with a whimper, with IPO deal value failing to reach USD 1bn across all Nordic markets in 2023. In 2022, the figure was USD 2.3bn, already well below average issuance.

In prior years, IPO issuance stood steadily above USD 5bn across the Nordics.

One ECM lawyer said clients are looking at IPOs with increasing interest, but discussions are more frequently geared toward a dual-track process that includes M&A.

“Some assets are no longer fit for an IPO given the macro and economic turmoil,” he said.

An ECM banker, though, said that a significant increase in RFPs for IPOs is fueling hope across the Nordics for a pickup in deals. Still, most are expected in the last quarters of this year, if not 2025.

“It is a weak period, but several companies are still testing the waters,” he said.

Northvolt, the Swedish battery maker, is planning to float its shares on the local stock exchange in a transaction that may be valued at about USD 20bn, as reported. The company reportedly raised USD 1.2bn in convertible notes and previously raised more funding in an August 2023 round.

Advisers are still positioning for banking roles on the potential listing, which is seen as one of the region’s flagship IPOs of 2025.

Polarium, a Swedish developer of smart modular energy storage solutions, is also working towards a potential IPO, as reported, with Carnegie and JP Morgan seen as likely advisors. Sources say that the time frame for a listing is unknown.

According to Dealogic’s predictive IPO pipeline, a number of companies should be monitored. Auroora, the Finnish company that owns, acquires, and develops businesses, is considering a listing on the stock exchange, the company’s Chief Executive Antti Rauhala said.

Azrieli Group [TASE:AZRG], an Israel-based real estate firm, is considering strategic options for its Norway-based data center unit, Green Mountain AS, including an IPO or private funding round.

In Denmark, biotech company Tetra Pharm Technologies plans to mandate advisors ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) in 2025, co-CEO Martin Rose told this news service.

More imminently, Klarna, the Swedish fintech company, could list in the third quarter, though it is reportedly eyeing a deal in the United States.

Follow-ons tell a more promising story; 2023 ended with USD 21bn in deal value.

Previous years had double-digit-billion volumes. So far, 2024 has already seen USD 2.3bn of follow-ons.

In the follow-on space, Delaogic analytics predicts potential deal opportunities soon in RVRC Holding AB (RevolutionRace) [STO:RVRC], as well as Var Energi [Oslo:VAR].

Throw a block on the fire and warm up.