Europe

Oberthur Shelves IPO

While it was widely forecast that Oberthur would have the year’s biggest tech IPO in 2015, it now seems it is not to be.

Oberthur Technologies (OT) has shelved plans to launch its planned IPO, citing concerns about market strength.

Oberthur is not exactly alone in its choice to step off the public offering train amidst uncertainty. Music streaming service Deezer pushed its IPO last week for the same reasons. Xella of Germany and Shield Therapeutics, a Newcastle-based pharmaceuticals group, have also postponed floats.

 “We are ready [on] our side, but it is like sailing,” Didier Lamouche, OT’s chief executive, told the Financial Times. “You can only leave the harbor when the weather is good.” He added that plans to list remained intact and would happen “as soon as possible next year."

OT trails only Gemalto in smart card manufacturing, with sales projected this year to exceed $1.2 billion, and about 60 percent of that comes from financial services, such as payment cards and chips for mobile payments.

Owned largely by private equity group Advent International, OT was seeking to raise $550 million to $650 million on Paris’ Euronext market to pay debt and fund research into digital security for connected objects — from bathroom scales to cars. That listing is now looking more likely to occur in 2016.

Lamouche has said that he expected much of the company’s future growth to come from digital security for the fast-growing market of connected objects, known as the “Internet of Things.”

“You cannot recall a car if you need to update its firmware,” he said. “Mobility means having to reprogram security features wherever you are.”

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