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It took just a few weeks into the new year for speculation over CEVA’s future to re-appear: the latest is that Apollo Global Management is to take CEVA public via a $1.5bn IPO before Easter.

Citing a “source close to the situation”, the New York Post says the decision has been made – and Apollo is “not looking back”.

Apollo, as usual, gave The Loadstar “no comment”. CEVA however, while pushing out the usual statement about not commenting on rumours, did not officially deny the story when probed further.

However, banking sources in New York agree it is likely, and during 2018, rather than 2019 or 2020.

And an IPO was certainly something both CEVA and Apollo wanted, in the event a buyer could not be found.

Apollo, which controls the shares, has wanted out for a long time. It tried an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013, but a poor financial performance from CEVA led to it being withdrawn.

CEVA meanwhile, has said it would like to indulge in a little M&A activity, to propel it into the ranks of the largest forwarders. CEO Xavier Urbain told The Loadstar last year: “The top 10 is not enough.”

And an IPO is one way to achieve that – if it raises sufficient funds.

The irony here is that the news came out just as the stock market fell significantly for the first time in two years.

The next question, of course, given the amount of M&A activity larger forwarders (see DSV, Geodis, XPO) have already said is coming this year, is which companies might be left to buy, and at what price.

The Loadstar is digging further into the story – more to come on Monday.

Comment on this article

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  • Yuki

    February 12, 2018 at 12:40 am

    A person who worked in CEVA before

  • Mauro Pisegna

    February 12, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Apollo’s plan for a Ceva IPO.
    An interesting question to ask is how can Apollo proceed with an IPO, when they have significant legal action pending.
    Apollo and Ceva are potentially likely to have breached their fiduciary duties to its past employee share/equity holders.
    Apollo’s past activities, have forced previous employee equity holders to challenge the proposed IPO. Apollo refuse to address legitimate governance concerns and therefore any potential IPO may be saddled with risk.

    • Ale Pasetti

      February 13, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Well, yes and no, Mauro. Is there risk in CEVA? Yes, but look at bond prices in the secondary market and you’ll find out investors are much more comfortable with its credit risk. Then to your point, in my experience legal action is highly unlikely to prevent an IPO and that kind of risk will be highlighted in the prospectus.