(Reuters) – A stock market debut for Austrian plastics and fertilizer maker Borealis [BESGR.UL] is still on the table but no concrete talks have taken place yet, Chief Executive Mark Garrett told Reuters on Wednesday.
An initial public offering (IPO) has been in the offing since 2005, when Austrian energy company OMV (OMVV.VI), which owns 36 percent of the group, and majority owner Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund IPIC took over Borealis.
But an IPO would have to wait at least until new OMV Chief Executive Rainer Seele has resolved the restructuring of OMV’s refining and marketing business and found a new boss for exploration and production, which would probably take at least 18 months, Garret said.
“There is a lot of stuff to be done over there,” he said.
“What could be more likely…and I think that’s been a standing statement from both OMV and IPIC – about the potential in the future (is) that there could be an IPO,” he added
Garrett said he would prefer Borealis to remain private, not least as it raked in a net profit of 571 million euros ($619.76 million) in 2014 and was not strapped for cash to make investments and acquisitions.
“We’re searching for opportunities. We’re generating a lot of cash, so we don’t need to raise any capital, we need to find good opportunities to allocate that capital,” Garrett said.
Borealis – which makes plastic pellets for highly specialized products such as power cables, medical supplies and water or gas pipes – is looking at Asia as a growth market for its pellet production and North America for access to gas feedstock.
Central and eastern Europe’s agriculture business could be another growth market for Borealis’s fertilizer section, he said, adding the company is focusing on making an annual net profit of between 500 million euros and 1 billion euros.
($1 = 0.9213 euros)
By Shadia Nasralla and Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich (Editing by Susan Thomas)