Seoul: STX Group, which owns the world’s fifth largest shipyard, will go ahead with an initial public offering for STX Europe this year.
‘“The venue could be anywhere; the United Kingdom, Singapore, even Korea, but not before July,” Group vc Lee Jong-chul said in an interview with the paper. Lee also swept away liquidity concerns, explaining that it recently boosted cash and “liquidatable” assets to over three trillion won by successfully issuing 270bn won in corporate bonds. The company’s planned listing of its Norwegian unit will add to its liquidity reserve. He said the offshore-focused Norwegian yard was likely to be the first consideration to go public if the group decides to conduct separate listings of its Europe’s units. “Once market conditions show a clear sign of turnaround and investor confidence revives, we will push for the plan,” Lee said. Earlier, the group said it was planning to recover its investment in STX Europe by listing shares on a third market or selling a minority stake. Norway-based STX Europe, formerly known as Aker Yards, was delisted after STX bought Europe’s biggest shipbuilder last year. “We expect new ship orders to be possible in the second half of the year,” the STX vice chairman said. “Currently, our shipbuilding unit has had some measure of difficulty in terms of liquidity. But time will act as a ‘buffer’ to offset it,” he said.