Manufacturers

Candyking share offering goes up in smoke

18-Dec-2013 - By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn
Fires prompt Candyking to withdraw initial public offering
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Swedish sweet manufacturer Candyking has withdrawn its recent offering of shares worth $76.2m following fires at two of its suppliers.

Earlier this month the pick & mix firm announced plans to trade 49% of its shares on the Nordic stock exchange. Last week those plans were abandoned following fires at the facilities of two of the company's suppliers.

Market uncertainty

In a statement, Jan Ohlsson, the principal shareholder’s representative on Candyking’s board of directors, said that the fires had created uncertainty in the market.

"According to our assessment, Candyking’s long-term earnings potential is not affected by the described circumstances, however, they have created uncertainty in the market, which at least in the short-term would burden Candyking’s standing as a listed company. We have taken note of this and take our responsibility by withdrawing the offering."

The share sell off, which was intended to raise brand awareness, pursue acquisitions and to reduce debts, would have seen private equity firms Accent and EQT retaining a 51% stake while opening the option to divest another 33% in the share offering. The two investment firms have owned Candyking since 2008.

Candyking said that interest among investors had been strong prior to the share offering withdrawal.

Reaction time

Candyking said that it was unfortunate that information was disclosed so late in the listing process, but claimed it had communicated details as soon as was possible.

The company said that there was an argument for proceeding with the listed price range despite the recent incidents but that it had "taken note of the criticism” and decided to withdraw the offering. It said that prerequisites for going ahead with such an offering had been deemed “unsatisfactory”.

Ohlsson said: “We must in this situation think of the company and the investors that have applied for acquisition of shares. It is not fair to either of the parties involved to begin the journey with Candyking as a listed company with the negative signatures that the latest events have created.”

"We note that the Company through unfortunate circumstances, beyond our control, did not get the opportunity it deserved on the stock exchange. Our belief in Candyking remains firm and we will therefore continue developing the Company outside the exchange,” he added. 

Related topics: Manufacturers, Candy