The state-owned Georgian Railway LLC plans to sell up to 25% of shares through Initial Public Offering (IPO) expected to be listed in a form of Global Depositary Receipts (GDR) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in May, the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said in a statement on April 16.
Over 95% of the Georgian state railway monopoly’s USD 285.8 million revenue in 2011 was generated by freight operations, according to the economy ministry. It said that the Georgian Railway, which sets its own tariffs without regulation, had USD 155.6 million in 2011 in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and its 54.4% EBITDA margin was “among the highest in the global rail industry.”
The company, which is the country's one of the largest taxpayers and employers, issued eurobonds worth of USD 250 million with five year maturity in July, 2010.
The Georgian government was planning to launch IPO for minority stakes of some of the major state-owned enterprises (SOE), including of the Georgian Railway, last year, but the plan was delayed citing unfavorable conditions on the international stock markets. The government announced on April 12 about return to the idea of floating SOEs’ shares on the London Stock Exchange.
Citigroup and Goldman Sachs International will be joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on IPO of the Georgian Railway.
"We are already one of the very few railway companies in the world delivering profitable growth without reliance on government subsidy,” Irakli Ezugbaia, CEO of Georgian Railway, said in the statement. “Our IPO will now mark another stage in Georgian Railway's evolution, bringing greater profile and visibility to the value we are creating to support our long term expansion plans in the region.”