Vivo Energy PLC launched on the London Stock Exchange on Friday May 4 with a valuation of nearly two billion pounds (US$2.7 billion), the largest London IPO so far this year and the largest Africa-focused IPO in more than a decade. According to a Reuters report, the initial offer price for the just under 30 percent of the company floated equity was set at 165 pence (USD 2.24) per share and the shares advanced to 169.50 pence in conditional trading.
The company is the downstream fuels joint venture of energy trading house Vitol and Helios Investment Partners, which are cutting their stakes in Vivo Energy. Vivo Energy sells Shell-branded fuels and lubricants at nearly 2,000 filling stations in 15 African countries.
The IPO creates liquidity for its primary shareholders, bringing Vitol’s ownership down to 40%, from 55%, and that of Helios to 30%, from 44%.
The offer of 332.2 million shares equates to GBP 548 million (USD 742.52 million) representing 27.7% of the company.
“It’s a success,” said Vivo chief executive Christian Chammas. “The offer was seriously oversubscribed.”“Our success comes from the success of Africa,” he said, noting that the average growth rate in the countries where the company operates is roughly 4% per year. “It’s a different environment,” he added.
The IPO is the largest Africa-focused London listing since Telecom Egypt raised 514 million pounds on a 2.662 billion pound valuation in December 2005 and the most significant since Seplat raised $500 million in a 2014 IPO with a market capitalization of $1.9 billion.