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German firm Friedrich Vorwerk plans IPO to expand in hydrogen market

Mar 8, 2021

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German energy infrastructure firm Friedrich Vorwerk plans an initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt stock exchange in the first quarter to accelerate growth in the hydrogen market, its biggest shareholder said on Monday.

The company, a subsidiary of Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm (MBB SE), aims to raise about 90 million euros ($107 million) from newly issued shares in a move that would offer 45% in free float shares.

MBB said the hydrogen and electricity businesses were expected to benefit from “substantial investments in light of the clean energy transition”.

Germany has started large-scale efforts to develop ‘green’ hydrogen, which is produced from water by electrolysis using renewable power generated by wind, solar and biomass.

The technology, which is also being pushed by the European Union, aims to develop alternative fuels for industry, energy, transport and other sectors as part of the country’s decarbonisaton strategy to meet climate targets.

Vorwerk, in which MBB owns 66%, provides infrastructure for the gas, electricity and hydrogen markets with more than 291 million euros in revenues at a 16% earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin in 2020.

Vorwerk would remain an owner-managed business, with Chief Executive Torben Kleinfeldt and MBB SE retaining a significant stake in the company, the statement said.

The remaining stakes in Vorwerk are owned by Irene Vorwerk, widow of the founder and Kleinfeldt.

Vorwerk has a sales pipeline with large potential order volumes from new underground electricity transport lines Suedlink, Suedostlink and Corridor A-Nord as well as a number of planned hydrogen electrolyser plants and pipelines.

($1 = 0.8414 euros)

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Edmund Blair)