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Swiss trainmaker Stadler plans IPO as billionaire owner cuts stake

[ZURICH] Switzerland's Stadler Rail will float on the SIX Swiss Exchange in coming months, the train builder said on Tuesday, selling shares from the 80 per cent stake owned by billionaire owner Peter Spuhler.

The IPO is expected to consist entirely of secondary shares held by Spuhler. After the transaction he will keep at least a 40 per cent stake as Stadler's largest shareholder and will continue to act as executive chairman, the company said.

The announcement came as Stadler reported a rise in new orders to US$4.39 billion during 2018. Annual revenue fell 18 per cent to 2 billion francs, while operating profit fell 20 per cent to 151 million francs.

The company, which employs around 8,500 workers, has customers that include CalTrain in the United States, Wales & Borders in Britain, and Russia's rail company Aeroexpress that bought trains ahead of the 2018 World Cup to ferry visitors from airports to Moscow.

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"Since I acquired Stadler in 1989 with 18 employees, we have experienced a strong growth momentum due to our focused organic expansion, particularly from 2008 onwards," Spuhler said. "The planned IPO on SIX Swiss Exchange is a logical next step in Stadler's growth trajectory."

Credit Suisse and UBS are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners for the planned IPO. BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Zuercher Kantonalbank are acting as Joint Bookrunners and UniCredit Bank AG as Co-Lead Manager, while Reichmuth & Co, St. Galler Kantonalbank and Thurgauer Kantonalbank are acting as selling agents.

REUTERS