Soda ash producer WE Soda planning London IPO

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 31 May 2023

Soda ash producer WE Soda planning London IPO

(Sharecast News) - WE Soda, the world's largest producer of natural soda ash, said on Wednesday that it plans to apply to list on the London Stock Exchange.
The company did not give any details on the price or size of the offering. However, it would include existing shares held by Turkey's Ciner Group, which represent at least 10% of its share capital.

Chief executive Alasdair Warren said: "I believe our combination of unique operating capability, sustainable products and operations, scale and market leadership gives us 'locked-in' structural and competitive advantages, which makes for a compelling investment case.

"I am proud of what we have so far achieved, and I am excited about the prospects for our business in the future. We look forward to sharing our story with potential investors over the coming weeks."

Soda Ash is used in glass manufacturing and in other products such as powdered detergents, soaps and rechargeable batteries. It is also used in metallurgical processes, and across the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

The listing is expected to value the company at around £6.5 billion, making it the largest IPO this year.

Retail investors are expected to have the opportunity to buy shares in the company.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the listing is expected to value WE Soda at around £6.5bn.

'"WE Soda's intention to list on the London Stock Exchange is a boost for the City just as the capital has been left reeling from some high-profile names which have opted for the bright lights of New York instead," she said.

"By describing the FTSE 100 as being associated with quality and prestige, the company has provided a ray of light for London, with the LSE's defensive characteristics considered a benefit at a time of uncertainty due to soaring inflation and high interest rates.

"The stock market launch of the industrial materials maker will be the FTSE's first major IPO this year, but although this is a much-needed drop in a parched landscape, it's still unlikely to lead to a flood of immediate listings due to the still volatile nature of market sentiment. Nevertheless, it brings a wash of confidence to London, and raises hopes that the City can capitalise on the UK's entrepreneurial activity in the sustainable solutions sector."


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