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Friday, 18th September 2020
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Smurfit Kappa - the largest IPO in Irish business history back
The Smurfit Kappa IPO won 'Equity Linked Deal of the Year'. It was the largest IPO in Ireland in to date and also the 3rd largest IPO in EMEA in 2007 making it an IPO of global significance. It beat off competition from a strong second - SVG Diamond Private Equity III plc, notable as it combined the new Irish qualifying investor fund regime and the Irish section 110 regime by interposing a securitisation vehicle in a fund structure. Further details of the SVG Diamond deal can be read on www.finance-magazine.com - where all the nominations are profiled.
The IPO of Smurfit Kappa is the largest IPO in Ireland to date and was also the 3rd largest IPO in Europe and the Middle East in 2007. A 100 p.c. primary offering raised €1.3 billion. 'The IPO was the latest in a series of large transactions for the Group, from the take private in 2002, a return of capital transaction (over €330m) in early 2005, the Smurfit Kappa merger in 2005, ending with the Group's IPO and return to the market in March 2007.
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Equity Linked Deal of the Year: Smurfit Kappa IPO. Pictured (l to r) Ian Curley chief financial officer, Smurfit Kappa; Tony Smurfit, chief operating officer, and Gary McGann, chief executive officer.



The group went full circle in 5 years with a massive merger during that period,' according to Myra Garrett a partner from William Fry involved in the deal. Ivan Murphy, Director of Davy Corporate Finance said that 'the transaction, being the largest ever equity fundraising in Ireland, was executed against a difficult equity market background'.

The IPO gave Smurfit Kappa 'access potential availability of acquisition opportunities using SKG shares as consideration, broader shareholder base, incentivisation opportunities for management and allowed the group to reduce its debt.'

The Board set an ambitious timetable, given that the advisers and principals were based in numerous countries and the company itself is multi-national. 'Timing targets were all achieved or beaten, which illustrated the professionalism, commitment and energy of the Company and its advisory teams' said Garrett.
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Competing regulatory regimes in terms of US Securities laws versus Irish Stock Exchange/London Stock Exchange requirements and the EU Prospectus Regulations which, at that point, had only relatively recently come into operation added to the deal's complexity.
Deutsche Bank acted as global coordinator of the Global Offer, with Citigroup, Davy, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs acting as joint bookrunners. Davy and Deutsche Bank acted as joint sponsors to the company on the Irish Stock Exchange.
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