Tallin bourse lists Starman shares

  • 2005-06-15
  • By Ksenia Repson
TALLINN - Coming just days after its first major IPO in years, the Tallinn Stock Exchange received another burst of investment attention when it floated shares in AS Starman, one of the largest cable TV and telecommunication operators in Estonia.

Starman began floating 3,298,993 shares on June 13, with the subscription set to end June 17. Of this amount some 1.1 million shares have been set aside as preference shares for Starman employees, while 2.1 million shares will be sold to professional and private investors.

The company also announced that its chairman was increasing his holding by buying 3 percent of outstanding stock via the Com Holding company. The chairman's stake will increase from 14.8 to 17.8 percent, the company said.

The stock being sold belonged to Royalton Capital Investors, which will see its stake fall from 64.18 percent to 33.4 percent after the IPO, though in the longer term Royalton plans to pull out of Starman altogether, CEO Nigel Williams told the Baltic News Service.

Some owners of Royalton Capital Investors will dispose of all their Starman stock, but some may retain their interest and become owners of Starman directly, without Royalton's mediation, Williams added.

After the IPO is completed, OU Constock will hold 18.11 percent of Starman's outstanding stock, OU Com Holding 14.82 percent and AS Lohmus Holdings 2.89 percent.

Sten Sumberg, head of Suprema's markets department, was quoted as telling the Aripaev daily on June 10 that Starman's market value may reach 600 million kroons (38.4 million euros). But he added that the price that LHV wanted to receive per share 's 72 kroons, or 4.6 euros 's was hopelessly high. Normally it would go for 46 kroons per share, he said.

Preliminary results of IPO and final share prices will be announced June 20. In accordance with terms of the Tallinn Stock Exchange and Royalton Capital Investors' agreement, trading on the stock will commence June 28.

The IPO follows the public offering of Tallinna Vesi (Tallinn Water), which successfully floated a share issuance to European and Estonian investors last month.

The IPOs come after the Swedish owners of Hansapank decided to buy back minority shareholders' stakes and take the bank's stock off the market. Historically, Hansapank accounted for some 60 's 70 percent of turnover on the Tallinn Stock Exchange.

The previous IPO took place six years ago on Feb. 11, 1999, when shares of Estonian Telecom began trading.

The next company expected to go public, according to reports, is VP Market, the largest retailer in the Baltics.

Starman was founded in 1992 and offers Internet, cable television and telephony products and services. The cable network covers nearly 45 percent of Estonian households. According to the company's latest financial report, turnover grew 44 percent in 2004 and reached 151.1 million kroons. Earnings amounted to 14.9 million kroons.