Sobolewski Reappointed Warsaw Bourse Chief Before IPO

Ludwik Sobolewski was reappointed chief executive officer of the state-owned Warsaw Stock Exchange as the operator of central Europe’s biggest bourse prepares for an initial public offering this year.

Sobolewski, who has headed the bourse since 2006, was given a second, four-year term, the supervisory board of the exchange said in an e-mailed statement. During Sobolewski’s first term, the number of listed companies almost doubled, helping the Warsaw exchange become the biggest in central Europe.

Poland will offer 64 percent of the bourse in an IPO in the fourth quarter as part of its $10 billion asset-sale program to help finance the budget deficit, Deputy Treasury Minister Joanna Schmid said on April 8. The government would also like to find a buyer for its remaining stake, possibly by getting a strategic partner after the IPO, he said.

The government last year invited the three companies as well as Deutsche Boerse AG to buy a majority stake in its only stock exchange but none of them placed a binding offer.

The exchange saw the total value of Polish-based companies triple to almost $160 billion over the last decade, according to bourse data. More than 500 companies trade on its main market and NewConnect platform for smaller companies.

As many as 20 companies may start trading on the bourse this year as the government speeds up asset sales and private businesses seek funds for expansion, Sobolewski said in an interview on March 26. Poland and Dutch-based Eureko BV yesterday raised 8.1 billion zloty ($2.7 billion) from the sale of a 30 percent stake in insurer PZU SA, Europe’s largest IPO since 2007.

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