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TeamViewer IPO Gives Germany Its First Tech Champion in Decades

Stefan Nicola

(Bloomberg) -- Germany will finally get another major listed tech company when software maker TeamViewer AG completes a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.5 billion) initial public offering this month -- the biggest in the industry in almost two decades.

While Germany has several established tech companies, including software giant SAP SE, there have been few sizable newcomers since chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG listed in 2000. TeamViewer will provide a boost to the weakest European IPO market in years and comes as Germany’s economy teeters on the brink of a recession. The share sale, which is oversubscribed, will be the country’s largest so far this year.

Founded in 2005, TeamViewer has developed from a local provider of remote computer access tools to one that offers connectivity to customers in about 180 countries. The company plans to further expand in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and will add to its offerings for large corporate customers to help them connect anything from mobile phones and tablets to machine sensors, smart farming equipment or wind turbines.

With a sudden influx of new offerings in Europe, IPO investors have a lot to choose from. Apart from TeamViewer, private equity firm EQT Partners AB is also marketing its initial public offering, with a management roadshow kicking off next week. On Thursday, Helios Towers Plc -- one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest mobile-phone tower operators -- announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.

TeamViewer’s owner, private equity firm Permira, plans to sell as many as 84 million shares for 23.50 euros to 27.50 euros each via holding firm TigerLuxOne, the company said late Wednesday. TeamViewer stock is expected to start trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Sept. 25.

The price range would give the company a market value of between 4.7 billion euros and 5.5 billion euros. Bloomberg News previously reported the valuation could be 4 billion euros to 5 billion euros. The listing will improve TeamViewer’s brand recognition and make it easier for it to grow organically and via “selected acquisitions,” spokeswoman Martina Dier said.

TeamViewer may hire more people in the U.S. and opened offices in China, Japan, India and Singapore last year to expand sales in those markets. In China alone, TeamViewer has “tens of millions” of free users, more of whom the company wants to convert into paying customers, according to Chief Executive Officer Oliver Steil.

“Our big growth combined with strong profitability -- even if market conditions have been difficult -- makes our financial profile attractive to investors,” Steil said in an interview last month.

TeamViewer’s cash billings grew more than 35% in the first half, faster than last year’s 25% growth, to over 140 million euros, the CEO said. The company posted a cash operating profit margin of more than 50% during the period. It says its software has been installed on more than 2 billion devices.

Permira bought the company for 870 million euros in 2014. It has since partnered with firms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Salesforce.com Inc. to bolster its cloud offerings.

The free float, a measure of company stock available to trade, will be 30% to 42%, depending on the size of the IPO, according to the statement.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are arranging the IPO, with Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and RBC Capital Markets. Lilja & Co. is acting as an independent adviser to Permira and TeamViewer.

(Updates with company comment in sixth paragraph. An earlier version of the story was corrected to remove reference to IPO proceeeds)

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Andrew Blackman, Chris Reiter

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