Link Mobility becomes Europe’s newest unicorn startup
Mobile messaging platform Link Mobility Group Holding ASA rose as much as 19% on its first trading day in Oslo amid surging demand for the company’s services as more people embrace e-commerce during the pandemic.
The stock climbed 11% to 52 kroner at 9:24 a.m. in Norway from the 47-kroner sale price of its 6 billion-krone ($653 million) initial public offering. The listing, the largest in the country since silicone producer Elkem ASA's March 2018 debut, gives Link Mobility a market value of 12.6 billion kroner.
Link Mobility raised 2.5 billion kroner in the share sale, with the rest of the proceeds going to existing holders, including private equity firm Abry Partners. Seven cornerstone investors, including DNB Asset Management and the Government Pension Fund of Norway, took up 2.3 billion kroner, or a third, of the offering.
Demand for the company's messaging technology, which allow companies to communicate with and invoice their customers, has soared as the coronavirus outbreak has confined people to their homes and driven up use of online commerce. Video-conferencing firm Pexip Holding AS's Oslo IPO in May cashed in on the same trend.
Investors have been keen to participate in tech-oriented stock offerings, as well as deals geared toward changing attitudes and consumer behaviors in the pandemic. Pexip's shares have gained about 26% since its debut, among the first to thaw an iced over European IPO market.
Since then, Norway has seen a deluge of listings with more to come. In 2020, Oslo has hosted 29 IPOs worth $2.4 billion, the highest number of deals on record at this stage of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Nordic region in general, which also encompasses Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, has had a good IPO year. New stocks are supported by strong local equity indexes, which have been among Europe's best performers.
ABG Sundal Collier ASA, Jefferies International Limited are joint global coordinators on Link Mobility's IPO, while Carnegie AS is a joint bookrunner and SpareBank 1 Markets AS is co-lead manager.
If underwriters exercise in full their option to sell more shares, the deal size would increase to 6.9 billion kroner.
By Swetha Gopinath