The Athens International Airport, Greece’s primary tourist gateway, recently witnessed robust demand during its initial public offering (IPO), marking a significant milestone as the first major IPO in Europe for the year.
Commencing on January 25 and concluding last Thursday, this IPO arrives after a two-year hiatus in European IPOs, attributed to escalating debt costs and geopolitical uncertainties that deterred interest in new stock listings.
2023 saw the worst performance for global IPOs since 2009, with just $120 billion raised, as per Dealogic data.
In Greece, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) is orchestrating the sale of 90 million shares in a combined offering to Greek and foreign investors, as well as existing shareholders.
This IPO stands as Greece’s largest since the 2010-2018 debt crisis.
Investor interest was overwhelming, with orders exceeding 8.6 billion euros ($9.36 billion), according to the airport’s official statement.
The IPO price was set at 8.20 euros per share, at the upper end of the previously announced range of 7.00 to 8.20 euros, valuing the entire company at 2.46 billion euros.
The Athens International Airport, situated in a Mediterranean tourist hotspot, handled more than 28 million passengers last year, representing a substantial 35% share of the total passenger traffic across Greece’s airports.
As a result of the IPO, HRADF anticipates raising 785 million euros, aided by AviAlliance, which already holds a 40% stake in the airport, agreeing to acquire an additional 10% at a premium price of 9.758 euros per share over the IPO price.
Trading of shares is scheduled to commence on the Athens Stock Exchange on February 7. Investment bankers are optimistic about a potential revival in IPO activity in 2024 due to expectations of interest rate stabilization.
Additionally, reports indicate that German perfume retailer Douglas is contemplating an IPO in the first quarter of the year.
In a related development, Kazakhstan’s Air Astana recently disclosed the price range for its joint stock exchange listings in London and its domestic market.
The successful Athens International Airport IPO showcases renewed investor confidence in Greece’s tourism and aviation sectors, signaling a potential resurgence in European IPOs in the year ahead.