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Primary markets: Iberdrola IPO set to test market capacity

The summer volatility in financial markets has caused numerous corporates to delay debt and equity capital raising.

For now, though, one of the biggest deals in one of the hottest sectors, the initial public offering (IPO) for Iberdrola Renovables, the renewable energy division of Spanish power company Iberdrola, is still slated to be launched before the end of this year. The Spanish company hopes to sell a 20% stake in the high-growth division, which analysts have valued at between €16 billion and €25 billion and which aims to grow its wind-power generation operation, especially in the US, through a huge and rapid investment programme over the next few years.

Equity capital markets bankers are looking forward to a new issue of €3 billion to €5 billion, much larger than the typical growth company IPO of a few hundred million euros. Will the markets be able to absorb it, especially if expectations increase of an economic downturn and slower corporate earnings?

Growth by acquisition

Iberdrola itself has been growing fast through acquisitions this year, having progressed with the consolidation of Scottish Power, acquired in a $24 billion deal, and having raised further capital to acquire US energy producer Energy East in a $4.6 billion agreed deal, all this while being subject to persistent rumour of a potential takeover bid from the company’s largest shareholder, Actividades de Construcción y Servicios.