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Innova Capital portfolio company WPH debuts on Warsaw Stock Exchange

Wirtualna Polska Holding (WPH), a portfolio company of private equity fund Innova Capital is now trading on the main market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. 

Just a few months after the purchase of the former Wirtualna Polska company by Innova Capital and o2 Group was finalised, the company has undergone a process of integration, expansion and brand enhancement, almost tripling its equity value. 

“Only twelve months ago we were announcing a formal completion of the merger establishing new Wirtualna Polska Group, and today its IPO marks an estimated value of nearly one billion zloty. Credit for this huge success goes to the teamwork between the management and employees of WP and Innova deal team over the past months. We are not stopping now and moving on to achieving our goals on the public market,” says Krzysztof Krawczyk, Managing Partner of Innova Capital.

“Right from our first meeting with Innova team, back in 2013, we knew that it would be a suitable party to partner on the purchase of Wirtualna Polska. Our cooperation is a model example of symbiosis between a PE firm and entrepreneurs. It is a combination of a financial muscle and experience in consolidation of other markets, with the knowledge of the relevant industry, solid planning, and commitment and spirit of the entrepreneurs,” says Jacek Świderski, CEO of Wirtualna Polska Holding SA.

WPH’s public offer was aimed at individual and institutional investors in Poland, also certain limited promotional actions were carried out to selected institutional investors outside of Poland. The offer met with great interest from investors: the demand exceeded the supply many times over.

The share price was PLN32 and the number of offered assets was 9.19 million, including 3.34 million of new shares.1,378,857 of the offered shares made their way to individual investors while 7,813,521 shares were bought by institutional investors. The offer also included 5.85 million existing WPH shares which was a 35% stake belonging to the European Media Holding (EMH), a company controlled by Innova Capital fund. The IPO brought EMH an income of PLN187.3 million gross, which already at that stage means a return at approximately 90 per cent of the initial investment.

According to the initial assumptions of the offer, the net proceeds from the issuance of new shares will amount to PLN100 million. WPH will use most of it to finance acquisitions, which will enable implementation of strategies to boost organic growth as well as for a partial repayment of financial leverage.

“The IPO will allow Wirtualna Polska to build an acquisition war chest in order to actively participate in the consolidation of the online market in Poland. Company’s ambitions are endless. We intend to create a strong Poland’s champion, the main information, culture and entertainment medium in Poland and an ecommerce hub”, adds Krawczyk.

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