This year has been atypical in the stock markets for two reasons: there have been more cancellations than IPOs and, barring last-minute surprises, January will start without any major debut project in sight. Neither business banks nor advisors dedicated to convincing companies to jump onto the stock market have been successful. Prudence has prevailed and the drought seems to have come to stay, at least for a few months.
The balance of the year in Spain has consisted of a single IPO on the continuous market, that of Opdenergy, and an incorporation from BME Growth, that of Atrys Health. On the other hand, the cancellations of plans have abounded, among which the case of Ibercaja stands out, which renounced going public after obtaining a valuation of 1,300 million euros, much lower than the 2,100 million euros expected.
Other projects were also stopped, such as that of Mecalux, which aspired to be valued at 2,000 million, or that of the Murcian road transport group Primafrio, which exchanged an IPO of 1,700 million for the sale of 49% of the capital to the Apollo fund. Repsol began the year with a plan to take its renewables subsidiary public with the help of JP Morgan, but it was not long in discarding it.
“There has been a very general drop in valuations and those in charge of listing companies are rethinking it. There is a lot of uncertainty, and it is growing, and volatility is added to that. In the medium term, there will be few IPOs, if any," says José Villaverde, a partner at Crea Inversión.
There has only been some dynamism in BME Growth, a market that now has more than 130 companies and that works as a source of financing and first stock market experience for companies looking for investors. Fifteen companies have opened there this year, including Enerside, Vytrus Biotech, Substrate AI, Labiana Health, Axon Partners, Energy Solartech, Hannun or various real estate investment companies.
From BME, the operator of the stock markets in Spain, they assure that IPOs have fallen in 2022 due to "the economic slowdown and increases in interest rates." As they say, "world economies and financial markets have experienced a very complex year characterized by the progressive economic slowdown and losses in the prices of practically all investment assets."
If in 2021 the IPOs made it possible to attract almost 3,000 million euros, this year the figure is reduced to just 560 million. Last year the bell rang, Línea Directa, Ecoener and, above all, Acciona Energía, which entered through the front door of the Ibex.
This year, on the other hand, has been turbulent for the stock markets, despite the fact that the Ibex, with a 5% decline, has performed much better than other European or North American indices. By depending more on energy and banks, it has not suffered falls like the Nasdaq, which brings together technological values and which has suffered a collapse of more than 33%.
However, volatility and uncertainty have also been paralyzing in Spain. BME calculates that capital increases, generally consisting of the issuance of new shares to raise resources, have also fallen sharply, concentrating operations for 6,137 million euros, a third of that in 2021.
The Association of Financial Markets of Europe (AFME) places the break at the same time as the invasion of Ukraine. In the first semester, Spain suffered a drop of almost 96% in offers for the sale of shares or issues of new titles.
The fall in valuations favors the opposite trend, that of takeover bids. Siemens Gamesa is about to be delisted after being purchased by Siemens, and the same thing is happening to Zardoya Otis after the Otis takeover bid.
The trend is similar in the rest of Europe and in the United States. The world association of stock traders WFE estimates that this year the income of companies from IPOs has fallen by 90%.