Danish PE-Backed IPO Pipeline Fills Up

 COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark may see four to five initial public offerings of shares in companies now owned by private equity funds in the next 18 to 24 months, the head of a Danish funds lobby group said, suggesting a new-found confidence in valuations.

“Valuations have risen to levels that people are beginning to take a look at,” Danish Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (DVCA) Managing Director Jannick Nytoft told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

“I would guess that we’ll see four to five bourse listings of companies from capital funds in the next 18 months,” Nytoft said.

Copenhagen stock exchange (NDAQ.O) expects up to 20 companies to list this year, its top executive told Reuters on Jan. 14. [ID:nLDE60D1VS]

Share-price-to-earnings multiples have been on the rise since hitting a floor in March 2009. Many funds refrained from trying to bring companies to market during most of 2008-2009 when multiples were in freefall or only gradually recovering.

There were two new listings in Copenhagen last year: budget airline Cimber Sterling (CIMBER.CO) and Icelandic prosthetics maker Ossur (OSSRdkk.CO).

In Europe, tepid investor interest has led recently to the cancellation of several planned IPOs.

The first Danish IPO candidates would probably test the waters before the end of the second quarter, Nytoft said.

He did not elaborate on likely companies, but referred to names frequently mentioned in local media such as telecoms group TDC (TDC.CO), cleaner ISS and rescue services provider Falck as well as Chr. Hansen and Nycomed, both active in health care.

Technology companies could also be listed, Nytoft said.