The third-party logistics provider will seek to raise 1.3 billion Swiss francs (U.S. $1.36 billion) in an initial public offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange that also will see CEVA’s headquarters moved from Hoofdorp, Netherlands, to Baar, Switzerland.
Global 3PL CEVA Logistics will seek to raise 1.3 billion Swiss francs (U.S. $1.36 billion) via an initial public offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Global third-party provider CEVA Logistics has confirmed plans for an initial public offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange in an “all primary” offering to institutional and retail investors in Switzerland, as well as certain qualified institutional investors in other areas.
According to a statement from the company, CEVA will seek to raise 1.3 billion Swiss francs (U.S. $1.36 billion) via the listing, which will take place some time in the second quarter.
The news comes after reports surfaced in February that the company would seek an IPO by April, reports that CEVA promptly shot down, saying at the time that company “does not comment on market rumors or speculation.”
CEVA, which is majority owned by three private equity investment firms, first attempted to go public in 2012, but a run of poor financial performance put those plans on the shelf and eventually triggered a financial recapitalization.
In April 2013, company officials asked bond holders to trade in their holdings for equity in the company. By the end of the campaign, CEVA had reduced its debt by about half, cut its annual cash interest costs in half, and added nearly $300 million to its credit facilities.
Under the proposed IPO plan, parent company CEVA Holdings LLC will merge with CEVA Logistics AG to create a new holding company for the CEVA group. As a result, the company also will relocate its head management offices from Hoofdorp, Netherlands, to Baar, Switzerland, where CEVA Logistics AG is currently based.
In addition, CEVA will elect a new board of independent directs comprising new and existing independent members that will be chaired by Rolf Watter, a partner at Swiss law firm Bär & Karrer, the chairman of PostFinance AG and a board member of Aryzta AG.
The three current principal shareholders—Capital Research and Management Co. (26 percent), Franklin Advisers Inc. (25 percent) and Apollo Global Management LLC (22 percent)—will retain a sizable stake in the company, but their shareholdings will be “significantly diluted” through the IPO, CEVA said.
CEVA said it will use the proceeds from the newly announced IPO to repay debt in an effort to further deleverage its balance sheet to a ratio of less that three times net debt to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
“The planned IPO and deleveraging of the balance sheet to below 3.0x net debt/Adjusted EBITDA is expected to unlock additional growth opportunities with existing and new customers and result in lower finance charges,” the company explained. “As a result of deleveraging and anticipated profitability improvements, CEVA expects to generate attractive cash flows. The company expects to pay a dividend to shareholders for the financial year 2018, subject to the dividend policy to be determined by the new board.”
One of the largest asset-light logistics and supply chain management service providers in the world, CEVA employs more than 56,000 in full-time and agency staff in 160 countries, offering contract logistics, including warehousing, distribution and value-added services, as well as freight management for ocean, air, ground and customs brokerage. The company has a broad customer base, with 29 percent of revenues coming from its consumer and retail segment, which includes e-commerce, 25 percent from automotive, 22 percent from industrial and aerospace and 15 percent from technology.
Despite revenues increasing 5.2 percent to $6.99 billion in 2017, the company sunk deeper into the red, recording a net loss of $197 million for the full year, compared with a $159 million loss in 2016.
According to an analysis from The Loadstar, the IPO is likely to serve up between 25 percent and 35 percent of total CEVA shares, which would give the company a total valuation in the range of $3.89 billion to $5.44 billion. CEVA, however, did not specify the number of shares to be floated in the proposed listing.
“Our global presence, end-to-end service offering in contract logistics and freight forwarding, our balanced blue-chip customer portfolio and our strong capabilities make CEVA stand-out among third-party logistics providers,” CEVA CEO Xavier Urbain said of the public offering. “Our improving financial results and new business wins are confirmation of the successful execution of our strategy to establish CEVA as one of the global leaders in the asset-light logistics industry.
“The planned IPO and deleveraging will allow us to open the next chapter in the development of the company,” he added “CEVA will be able to accelerate organic growth and participate in market consolidation. We are executing plans to further improve our profitability significantly and we are confident that we can deliver attractive returns to shareholders.”