Williams has had an inauspicious start to its new life as a publically-listed company.
The team’s 28% shareholding (or 2,409,383 individual shares) was launched on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange overnight, with a list price of €25.25, valuing the placement at €60.8 million. Williams chairman Adam Parr was given the honour of ‘ringing the bell’ to open the day’s share trading, while a 1997 Williams show car was displayed for the day.
By the end of the opening day’s trade, the shares had dipped to a closing price of €24.20 apiece (a loss of 6%), with a lowest price during the day of €23.70. A total of 136,228 units were traded during the day, with a further 382,397 traded on the XETRA exchange.
Describing the first-day losses as not “overly” concerning, Parr added: “It’s always brave to come to the market but being brave is what we do.
“Williams has solid growth potential which underpins its investment proposition; we will now focus on realising that potential for the benefit of shareholders while continuing our progress back to the front of the Formula 1 grid.”
“Our listing marks a new era in the history of the team,” added team founder Sir Frank Williams.
“Williams’ future as an independent constructor is sustained by this listing, providing us the base from which to grow further. Williams offers a unique opportunity to investors, and the response to the offering is recognition of this.”
But with there being much ongoing concern about the financial health of the Williams operation, an unnamed Frankfurt-based trader has told Reuters that the first-day losses were what he had expected, adding: “I think that it will not get any easier for Williams.”
[Original image via James Allen]