“Successful green bonds issues in 2017 and 2018 are the indication of Ignitis Group attractiveness among the global investors. We value investors choice and understand the importance of building the relationship with them going forward. In the meantime, we see a rationale to delist the shares of Ignitis Group subsidiaries due to the illiquid free float, consisting of 5% and less, which results in barely active trading in the Nasdaq Vilnius stock exchange. Also, this consideration is related to the change of Ignitis Group focus from traditional to renewable energy. In order to implement Ignitis Group shareholder dividend expectations, Ignitis Group 2030 and national energy independence strategies, we see this process crucial for the evaluation of long-term financing alternatives, among which debt and share capital raising alternatives would be considered both in national and global capital markets”, says Darius Maikštėnas, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Ignitis Group.
In the process of delisting the interests of minority shareholders will be protected and the process will not have a negative impact on the transparency of the companies.
“We value the minority shareholders long-term participation in forming Ignitis Group subsidiaries share capital. Thus, we aim to set the offer price for the both subsidiaries to be equal to 24 months volume weighted average price, which considers longer term share price fluctuations and level out one-offs. It is worth to highlight, that the transparency, due to the requirements applied to Ignitis Group related to the listed green bonds in Nasdaq Vilnius and Luxembourg stock exchanges, would not be reduced if the decision to delist Ignitis Gamyba and Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius shares form trading on regulated market would be approved”, confirms Darius Kašauskas, Member of the Board and Director of Finance and Treasury at “Ignitis group“.
The request to confirm the offering circulars is planned to be submitted after Extraordinary General Meetings of Shareholders. Circulars will be published, once approved by the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania.
The comment of the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania
The Ministry of Finance, as the institution implementing the rights of the shareholder of UAB Ignitis Grupė does not object to the decision of the Company to initiate delisting of shares of AB Ignitis Gamyba and AB Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius.
“I feel that reasons and arguments behind the decision of such importance are both meaningful and strong if considering the long-term goals of the Group – the transformation and transition from traditional to renewable energy companies. This would increase the overall value of the Ignitis Group, ensure a sustainable financial return to the State as well as strengthen its energy independence. We see the redemption of the minority shareholdings of the Group‘s companies as a necessary solution to find long-term financing alternatives for the entire Group”, said Vilius Šapoka, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania.
He emphasized that at this stage the interests of minority shareholders, who were involved in the formation of the share capital of the subsidiaries, are very important. Therefore, according to V.Šapoka, the Ministry of Finance welcomes the company's intention to offer a bonus to minority shareholders when a voluntary and mandatory takeover bid is launched. As pointed out by the Ministry of Finance, the Company must ensure the due protection of the rights of the minority shareholders as well as their access to all the necessary information.
The Ministry of Finance, taking into account the key areas of Lithuanian energy sector, strategic goals and objectives which are enshrined in the National Energy Independence Strategy and the implementation of which requires the participation of the Company, intends to set up a high-level working group to examine the long-term financing options of the Group, including the amount of the capital raised in national and international capital markets. The first results are expected to be in July 2020.