Cepsa Postpones Bumper IPO, Blames Market Rout

(Photo: Cepsa)
(Photo: Cepsa)

Spain's Cepsa postponed what would have been the largest oil company listing in a decade on Monday, the latest IPO to succumb to a global sell-off in equity markets.

Cepsa's owner, Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala, had planned to raise about 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by selling 25 percent of Cepsa.

Markets have been roiled by anxiety about a potential trade war between the United States and China, uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union, a global economic slowdown and higher U.S. interest rates.

Spain's IBEX stock market index registered its biggest weekly fall since February at Friday's close, and remains at two-year lows. The index opened down 0.15 percent on Monday.

"The most recent international economic developments have sowed considerable uncertainty in international capital markets," Cepsa said in a statement.

"In this scenario, the appetite of international investors has retracted significantly, along with their willingness to participate in stock market listings such as the one being carried out by Cepsa," it said.

Mubadala will consider returning to the stock market when conditions become more favorable, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive of Mubadala's Petroleum and Petrochemicals platform, said.

"The feedback from potential investors reinforced our view of Cepsa's value and the strengths of the underlying business," Al Kaabi said in a statement.

Cepsa's float would be the biggest by an oil company in terms of proceeds since Brazil's OGX Petroleo e Gas in 2008.

IPO plans globally have been hit by market turmoil. Last Friday alone, Tencent Music Entertainment, the owner of China's most popular music app, delayed a U.S. share offering, sources said, and Portuguese holding company Sonae cancelled plans to list shares in food retail unit Sonae MC.

Dutch car leasing company Leaseplan also shelved plans to float in Amsterdam, blaming a global sell-off in equity markets.

($1 = 0.8653 euros)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Paul Day/Jason Neely/Susan Fenton)

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