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Chemical Firm Azelis Jumps After $2.1 Billion Brussels IPO

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Azelis SA, which provides services to the food ingredients and specialty chemicals industries, surged in its trading debut following the biggest Belgian initial public offering since 2007.

The shares soared as much as 15% in Brussels from the IPO price of 26 euros. The offering priced at the top end of an initial range, valuing Azelis at 6.1 billion euros. The company and its shareholders raised 1.77 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in the deal.

European markets have been inundated with IPOs this week as companies take advantage of cash-rich investors and stock prices near all-time highs. Azelis had so much investor interest that bankers were able to close their books early after only three days of taking orders.

“Azelis was priced as a sensible discount to its peers,” said Patrick Basiewicz at U.K. broker finnCap, adding that its listed peers in Europe Brenntag SE and IMCD NV are trading at all-time highs.

Azelis raised 880 million euros from the deal. Shareholders including Swedish private equity firm EQT AB and Canada’s PSP Investments received 891 million euros, which includes an option to increase the deal size worth 231 million euros.

Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Azelis plans to use the money to fund acquisitions and pay down debt. The company has a distribution business as well as a network of testing labs. The IPO is the biggest in Brussels since Nyrstar NV went public in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators, with bookrunners Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, HSBC Holdings Plc and ING Bank NV on Azelis’ offering. Cooperatieve Rabobank and Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg are co-lead managers, while Lazard Ltd. is Azelis’s financial adviser.

(Adds details on the company’s operations in the sixth paragraph.)

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