Tallink edging closer to IPO

  • 2005-10-12
  • Baltic News Service
TALLINN - The Tallink Group announced last week that it has chosen Uhispank and Suprema, along with Citigroup, as managers of its initial public offering that could take place in the next few months.

Tallink started negotiations with the Financial Supervision Authority and the Tallinn Stock Exchange on acquiring a listing. Previously the company, the largest passenger shipper in the Baltics, had considered a listing in Helsinki, but now managers appear to favor Tallinn.

If listed at home, Tallink would be the second largest issuer on the exchange after Eesti Telekom and could emerge as the most-traded stock, according to reports.

On the OTC market Tallink's shares have soared some 45 percent from 60 kroons (3.9 euros) at the beginning of August. At the time Citigroup was chosen as lead manager of the IPO, while shortly before that, news broke that ex-Uhispank CEO Ain Hanschmidt had become a major shareholder of Tallink.

Hanschmidt has attributed the sudden rise in the stock price to his appearance in the company, yet analysts have said that the most likely reason was that plans for the IPO were leaked. The sudden price rise has taken the value of his stake to nearly 1.25 billion kroons.

Tallink operates a fleet of 12 ships and two routes - Tallinn-Helsinki and Tallinn-Stockholm. The company's managers own a majority stake in the firm.