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Largest Dutch construction group prepares for pre-summer IPO - sources
March 23, 2017 / 10:14 AM / 9 months ago

Largest Dutch construction group prepares for pre-summer IPO - sources

FRANKFURT/AMSTERDAM, March 23 (Reuters) - VolkerWessels, the largest Dutch construction company, is preparing a stock market listing which may value the family-owned business at more than 2 billion euros ($2.15 billion) including debt, people close to the matter said.

The company’s main shareholders are expected to offer a stake of 20 to 49 percent of the company in the initial public offering, depending on investor demand, the people said.

VolkerWessels has already held analyst presentations and is working with Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, ING and ABN Amro as global coordinators on the deal, while Kempen is acting as IPO advisor, the sources said.

The target date for an IPO would be May or June.

“We are exploring an IPO and when it is appropriate, we will make further announcements”, Chairman Jan de Ruiter said at the company’s annual news conference last week.

The banks declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

The company was founded in 1854, when Adriaan Volker started business as an independent building contractor in the town of Sliedrecht. The company merged with peer Kondor Wessels in 1997 and rebranded as VolkerWessels five years later.

VolkerWessels posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 254 million euros on a turnover of 5.5 billion euros last year.

Peers such as Oranjewoud, Vinci, ACS , Strabag and Porr trade at 6 to 9 times their expected annual core earnings.

The Dutch building industry is benefiting from a surging property market after years of deep recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Turnover in the sector as a whole rose a solid 6.3 percent in 2016, but remains 8 percent below pre-crisis levels.

A construction boom, mainly in housing and utilities projects, has led to a shortage of workers, although there are 100,000 fewer people employed in the sector than in 2008, according to Statistics Netherlands. ($1 = 0.9285 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Keith Weir)

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