AVG Technologies, a Czech Brno-based antivirus company started to be traded on Wall Street on Thursday 2 February.
The firm sold four million new shares at USD 16 per share, and the same amount was sold by AVG’s existing shareholders. This means that AVG raised USD 128 million in its IPO.
However, the price dropped 18 percent to USD 13.5 per share. The market value of the company fell to USD 734 million.
AVG’s IPO thus met the same fate as previous initial public offerings of much larger IT players such as Zynga or Groupon.
J. R. Smith, CEO of AVG, attributed the disappointing IPO to “the situation on the markets”, adding that he believes the price will go up eventually.
“It is great to watch a small local firm growing into a global player. It is a signal for other Czech companies,” said Richard Seewald from Alpha Associates. Seewald has been a co-owner of AVG since 2001.
“The real interesting story is in the fact that a high-growth investment opportunity is emerging in the Central European region,” said the investor who owns other Czech Republic-based companies such as Elmarco, a nanofiber producer from Liberec, CentrumHoldings, or Czech T-Mobile.
“This is a defining moment for the IT sector of the region. Thanks to (AVG’s IPO), other companies coming from this region will receive more attention and more investment will flow in,” said Richard Seewald.