De Nora sticks to IPO plan as hydrogen rush trumps market chaos


Italian electrochemistry group Industrie De Nora will push forward with a Milan itemizing this month regardless of market turbulence as its efficiency exceeds “even the most optimistic forecast” amid a worldwide rush into hydrogen-based energy.

The preliminary public providing, which analysts and bankers say may worth the family-owned firm at €4bn to €5bn, comes as many companies in Europe and the US postpone their IPO plans due to rising inflation, financial coverage shifts and the struggle in Ukraine.

“We can press ahead with our plans in spite of what is happening around us because the company is performing well and we have the highest order backlog in our history, which is a clear sign of our growth trajectory,” mentioned Paolo Dellachà, De Nora’s chief government.

De Nora, based in Milan in 1923, is the world’s main producer of electrodes historically employed in chlorine-soda manufacturing that at the moment are an essential a part of the know-how used to provide inexperienced hydrogen.

The group reported revenues final 12 months of €616mn, with a core revenue of €127mn.

Hydrogen is about to play an essential position within the push to decarbonise and wean European power off its dependence on Russia. The European Commission has elevated its renewable hydrogen targets fivefold by 2030.

Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for the inner market, and a gaggle of chief executives together with Dellachà signed a joint declaration final month committing the business to a 10-fold enhance of its electrolyser manufacturing capability by 2025.

“What is happening in Europe will greatly support our growth, but we need clear EU-wide targets and regulations; the continent can’t afford the same mistakes it made on solar energy and Brussels knows this,” mentioned Dellachà.

“The good news for us is that technology, which is what we do, isn’t dependent on renewable energy . . . all we need is clean electricity which also can be sourced through nuclear energy or biomass.” 

Under the itemizing plan, not less than 25 per cent of the corporate will likely be floated, with the De Nora household and Italian power infrastructure firm Snam lowering their stakes.

Snam purchased a 36 per cent stake of the corporate from Blackstone for somewhat greater than €400mn in 2020, which valued the corporate at about €1.2bn. The De Nora brothers personal the remaining 64 per cent.

The IPO’s prospectus and the worth vary will likely be printed this week.

When the IPO was first introduced, analysts mentioned De Nora’s fairness worth can be within the vary of €4bn to €7bn, relying on the valuation of its hydrogen enterprise. But the expectation now could be that the itemizing will likely be within the decrease vary due to market turbulence.

“Our pipeline of green hydrogen projects worldwide has significantly increased since gas prices have begun to soar,” mentioned Dellachà.

The firm’s largest markets are Europe, the US and the Middle East.

De Nora’s portfolio additionally features a 34 per cent stake within the Thyssenkrupp Nucera three way partnership, which specialises in inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing processes.

Nucera, one other IPO candidate this 12 months, can be engaged on the development of the world’s largest inexperienced hydrogen plant in Saudi Arabia.

Analysts count on the standard electrodes and the hydrogen companies to be valued at about €1.5bn every and the water therapy know-how at €1bn, whereas the Thyssenkrupp three way partnership stake can be valued at roughly €1bn.

“This IPO is the natural evolution of our growth trajectory,” mentioned Dellachà. “It will give us more recognisability and the peace of mind to be able to always say ‘yes’ when the time to sustain further and larger acquisitions comes.”