KKR-backed defense supplier Hensoldt said it plans to go public in Frankfurt in what could be the year’s biggest German listing, as the European IPO market shows signs of recovery.  

The size of the deal wasn’t disclosed but Bloomberg reported in July that KKR was seeking a valuation of as much as €3 billion. New and existing shares worth between 20% and 30% are expected to be listed.

Hensoldt specializes in radar and optical sensors for military aircraft, working with German and foreign governments, as well as NATO. Formerly a unit of Airbus, KKR bought the business in 2016 for €1.1 billion. Given that government defense budgets are typically pre-approved or even ring-fenced, Hensoldt has been relatively insulated from the pandemic. 

The business reported a 6% rise in revenue in H1 compared with the same period last year to stand at €440.3 million and expects revenue for the whole year to reach more than €1.15 billion.

The German IPO market has struggled to attract listings so far this year with only three businesses having gone public, according to PitchBook. Consumer health company PharmaSGP’s July IPO was the largest, valuing it at €378 million. 

The market is showing signs of recovery as a string of businesses have announced their intentions to float in Frankfurt. Private equity-backed academic publisher Springer Nature is looking to list as early as this month, according to Bloomberg, seeking a valuation of around €7 billion. Camper van maker Knaus Tabbert disclosed earlier this month its plans to raise €20 million by floating roughly 50% of its shares on the stock exchange. In July, Vodafone announced that it had chosen Frankfurt to house the IPO of its European towers business instead of London.

Source: Nasdaq

Can’t stop reading? Read more