Financial investor EQT brings Suse to the stock exchange

Dhe Scandinavian financial investor EQT now also wants to officially bring the Linux software provider Suse to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The listing should start in the current quarter, the company announced on Monday. The usual caveat: that the market doesn’t drop unexpectedly sharply. Unofficially, the EQT plans have been known in the financial market for months, as reported several times. Suse is one of a number of companies that have been preparing or have already completed an IPO in Frankfurt in the past few months.

The investment company Hg Capital wants to bring its new car platform Meinauto onto the floor, also in this quarter. That would be the second Initial Public Offering (IPO) by an online car dealer after the used car platform Auto1 has been listed on the stock exchange since February. Vodafone has launched its radio tower subsidiary Vantage Towers. The investment company Cinven is planning this step for Europe’s largest laboratory chain Synlab – although the issue volume there is likely to be significantly smaller than planned, according to financial circles on Monday. The owner is expected to bring fewer shares to market and these at a price at the lower end of the range, which ranged from 18 to 23 euros. The issue will therefore probably not reach the billions in volume actually targeted.

On the one hand, Suse wants to issue new shares so that it can take in $ 500 million (420 million euros) and use the proceeds to reduce debt, it said on Monday. On the other hand, EQT is selling shares from its portfolio. EQT begins to exit unusually quickly. The financial investor had agreed to take over Suse for around 2.5 billion euros in mid-2018 and completed it in March 2019. In the meantime, the valuation is likely to have grown to a higher to high single-digit billion amount.

Technology stocks are coveted by investors right now; E-commerce, business software and financial technology are typical fields. In addition, there is the flood of liquidity around the world, which generally flushes material assets upwards. Germany’s IT sector is dominated by the software company SAP. With a market capitalization of around 140 billion euros, the group is one of the largest in the industry. Another comparatively old IT company is Darmstädter Software AG, and recently various providers have been added that are run as digital specialists in one form or another: from the delivery service Delivery Hero to the remote maintenance company Teamviewer.

Suse achieved sales of 503 million dollars (416 million euros) in fiscal year 2020 (to the end of October), one sixth more than in the same period of the previous year. The issue is organized by the investment banks Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. After the IPO, EQT will remain – at least initially – as the most important shareholder in the company. “EQT will continue to support Suse as the largest shareholder in the future,” said EQT partner Johannes Reichel. They are convinced of the company’s long-term development opportunities.


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