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Capital Markets

Estonia: Premia thaws OMX Tallinn with an IPO

Investor sentiment towards Estonia improving; Food company to offer welcome diversification

Premia Foods is set to end a three-year new-issue drought on the Nasdaq OMX Tallinn bourse with an initial public offering. Premia chairman Kuldar Leis says the company has sent all the necessary documentation to the financial market authorities and so could list as early as this month. Electricity company Eesti Energia could follow soon after by floating a 33% stake in June.

Premia is the largest producer of frozen foods in the Baltic states, with a product range that spans frozen pizzas, fruit and vegetables, fish and ice cream. It is the result of a multiple merger in January 2009 that created a fully integrated frozen food company with operations in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Sweden.

Premia reported EKr1 billion ($86.6 million) in revenues in 2009, a fall of 11% year on year. One-third of all sales are made in Estonia, another third in Finland and the rest is divided between Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.

The company is majority owned by Amber Trust, a private equity firm focused on the Baltic states established in 2002 by US hedge fund Firebird Management and Danske Capital Finland. Indrek Kasela, fund manager at Amber Trust, says that Premia will offer welcome diversification to investors, given that many companies have delisted from the Tallinn bourse in recent years.

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