OpinionRenk IPO

Daring act of desperation

The private equity firm Triton has learned from the first failed attempt at the Renk IPO and has well secured the issuance this time with KNDS as a cornerstone investor.

Daring act of desperation

It requires courage, thorough preparation, and a bit of luck to carry out an IPO at this point in time successfully. In the case of the tank transmission manufacturer Renk, all three elements come together. The company from Augsburg is owned by the private equity firm Triton. Triton needs to finally show its own investors again that it is capable of exiting a company investment with a profit. Triton is in good company with many other private equity firms for whom exiting their portfolio companies via IPO has been challenging over the past two years.

In October, Triton had already attempted to go through with the Renk IPO but had to back out on the eve of the planned first listing because the shares of comparable defence companies like Hensoldt or Rheinmetall had fallen shortly before, and the desired valuation for Renk was not achievable without risking a price crash at the start of trading. Triton has learned from this. This time, the issue is well-hedged. Of the 30% of the shares that are to come into free float on the stock market, 10% are going to two cornerstone investors. One of them is Renk's most important customer, the German-French tank manufacturer KNDS, which also gets a seat on the supervisory board and the right to increase its stake to 25%.

For the remaining 20% of the shares, given the wars in Ukraine and Israel, the demand should easily suffice. The market risk, which would consist of world peace breaking out during the book building period, was limited to just two days during which the order book is open. If retail investors had been involved, the order book would have had to be open for at least six days. And then there was also luck: Renk is going public on Wednesday. On the same day, two other stocks that have been in high demand are also starting to trade, supporting the Renk IPO: The night vision device manufacturer Theon in Amsterdam and Athens Airport.