Hungarian carrier Wizz Air decided to stop the planned initial public offering (IPO) at the last minute due to the “current market volatility in the airline sector.”
The airline said in a statement: “Despite the positive response to our business story, and the company’s growth opportunities and prospects within the institutional investment community, Wizz Air today announces that the company has decided not to proceed with an IPO at this stage, due to the current market volatility in the airline sector.” The company declined to comment further.
European airline shares have been fluctuating significantly over the past few weeks. Lufthansa’s stock has dropped by more than 15% following a profit warning last week. Aer Lingus also revised its earnings estimate downward illustrating renewed pressure on margins in the industry.
Wizz Air had planned to raise a total of $274 million in an IPO at the London Stock Exchange, primarily to fund future growth. The airline currently has a fleet of 52 Airbus A321s, but it plans to raise the number of aircraft to 82 over the next three years. The airline has another 38 A320s and 26 A321s on firm order, but part of the order will be used to replace some of the current aircraft.
Wizz Air said the decision to call off the IPO will have no influence on its expansion, which it estimates to be at around a growth of 15% per year for the foreseeable future.
The airline is the only one of the pan-European low-cost carriers (LCCs) that focuses on connecting Central and Eastern Europe with Western Europe. Wizz is also the smallest carrier in the sector that otherwise includes Ryanair, easyJet, Vueling and Norwegian.
Lufthansa on Monday confirmed it is considering setting up another LCC to serve European routes outside of Germany.