Ceva Logistics: going public in April?

09 / 02 / 2018

US financial press reports suggest that supply chain management company Ceva Logistics may go public in April.

Sources told the New York Post that an initial public offering of “roughly $1.5bn” is expected  – which would make the company the second-biggest IPO of the year (after Brazil’s PagSeguro Digital payment services company, which the newspaper said raised $2.3bn).

Ceva is owned by private equity investor Apollo Global Management, which tried to take the logistics firm public in 2012, but failed in the face of poor financial performance and, according to the Post, saw its equity “wiped out” as a result of measures to clear Ceva’s debts.

Things are rather different now, however. Apollo’s fourth-quarter and full-year results, released on February 1, were “strong” and “driven by outstanding investment performance of the funds we manage”, according to chairman and chief executive Leon Black.

In November 2017, Ceva reported positive third-quarter results. Chief executive Xavier Urban said at that time: “We have been able to offset ongoing market volatility in air and ocean freight. Our procurement and pricing strategy has enabled us to protect yields sequentially. Contract logistics continues to grow and delivers improved results through focused action on contracts.

“CEVA is on track to deliver a stronger result in 2017. The transformation we have embarked on is positioning CEVA as a strong player for the future,” he added.

Neither Apollo nor Ceva have confirmed the press reports regarding the IPO. Ceva said in a statement: "CEVA does not comment on market rumours or speculation."

IPOs are gaining popularity in the freight sector. Late January saw Swissport Group confirm that it is to seek an IPO and listing of its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Swissport's sole shareholder, China’s HNA Group, is expected to retain a long-term strategic shareholding following the IPO.

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