Swiss maintenance group will issue IPO, but timing depends on financial performance

SR Technics plans to float a portion of its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) in the "medium-term". Chairman Frank Turner declines to specify how much of the company's shares the IPO could involve, but says: "As we develop our strategic thinking we will have a clearer idea of how much...but it is likely to be significant."

The Swiss-based maintenance provider's financial performance, its strategic development and the state of the financial markets will determine the timing of the IPO, Turner says.

The move comes as SR Technics revealed its 2004 results, posting a 24% increase in revenue to SFr1.17 billion ($960 million) mostly due to the acquisition of FLS Aerospace. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, and non-recurring items rose 21% to SFr126 million.

SR Technics plans to continue its strategy of reducing dependence on single customers, with an ultimate goal of no airline providing more than 10% of its sales. Swiss International Airlines accounted for 18% of its revenue in 2004, compared with 42% in 2003.

The company is also considering expanding its presence in eastern Europe. "We are in discussions with operators and possible partners in eastern Europe," says chief executive Hans Ulrich Beyeler.

"Some western European customers are interested in having part of their work done in low-cost facilities, and they look to us," he adds. The company will weigh up a number of options, including acquisitions or partnerships.

Turner says SR Technics sees the Asia-Pacific region as the most rapidly growing market, adding that the company will be focusing increasingly on the region with Turner taking on the role of chairman of SR Technics' newly formed Asia-Pacific advisory board.

Beyeler is to step down from his role at the end of 2005. He will remain on the SR Technics board in a non-executive role and the company is now looking for a successor.


Source: Flight International