Equity Issues and IPOs

The market awakens

If it had not been for the IPOs of Innogy and Uniper, 2016 would have been a sorry year for issues. The third major deal of the year, the planned IPO of the IVG subsidiary Office First, foundered at the last minute, leading to the sale of the company. The first half of 2017 also started off slowly. Aumann was the only company that made it onto the regular market. Scale, the new listing segment, likewise recorded only a single successful IPO with Ibu-tec.

Not until June did the stock market seem to come back to life. First, Vapiano had a turbulent launch with large price fluctuations at the outset. Only a few days later, Delivery Hero followed with the IPO of the year up to that point and the listing of Metro Wholesale & Food Specialist. Furthermore, numerous initial listings are in the pipeline, the most prominent of which is the Siemens medical technology division Siemens Healthineers.

Market leaders united once again, Hogan Lovells close behind

Since Dr. Oliver Seilers’ move from Allen & Overy to Latham & Watkins at the end of 2016, there has been no notable staff upheaval on the market. However, the market leaders have again closed ranks. None of the three top firms has been able to stake out an exceptional position like the one that Sullivan & Cromwell had in the previous year. Hogan Lovells has joined the chasing pack, having been able to impress the market with a considerable share of successful transactions, incl. the IPOs of Vapiano and Shop Apotheke. Alongside its outstanding relationships with banks, it has also established itself as an advisor to companies.

Meanwhile, Linklaters and White & Case have profited from their strengths in other European countries, advising several deals in lucrative Switzerland, for instance. In Austria, on the other hand, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Clifford Chance have been esp. active. This path was closed to Shearman & Sterling. Its ever-shrinking team demonstrates that equity capital markets are no longer a strategic focus for the firm.


The firms discussed in this chapter provide advice on equity issues at the German and foreign stock exchanges. The focus of the lawyers’ work is on issuers as well as on the underwriting banks. Advice to banks involves documentation, prospectus drafting, advice on disclosure requirements and other regulatory aspects of securities law. Very often, firms advise the same companies on IPOs and secondary offerings that they have previously advised on corporate law.

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