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SMEs Fuel Growth with Public Listings: Small and Mid-Cap Award Winners 2013

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Five European companies from Spain, Norway and the UK who took full advantage of a public listing of their companies were last night's winners at the first European Small and Mid-Cap Awards.

DG Enterprise and Industry's Director General Daniel Calleja Crespo, present at the prizegiving, commented: "A public listing is a strategic way for Europe’s strong innovative companies to secure the capital needed to grow. Among these first winners, many have significantly increased both revenues and profits since floatation. They deserve recognition and we hope their success will prompt others to follow".

The number of listings by young high growth businesses has considerably declined in recent years. Equity financing was only used by 5% of SMEs in Europe in the past six months, compared to 7% in 2011. Stock listings in Europe have dramatically declined from a level of 666 new listings in 2007 to 165 in 2012.

Stock exchanges play an important role in helping businesses access capital markets, increase their visibility and generate growth. A stock listing brings together two sides of the same coin: it offers companies access to capital markets, while at the same time providing the fuel for growth to create new jobs and opportunities.

To help solve this issue, the European Commission, Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), London Stock Exchange and EuropeanIssuers created the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards to encourage small and mid-cap companies to access capital markets via Initial Public Offerings.

The five winners of the European Small and Mid-cap Awards 2013 are:

Best new listed company: Gowex

Want to access the internet while navigating the streets of New York, Madrid, or Dubai? Thanks to Gowex you can, for free. The Spanish telecommunications company’s business model has proved popular with investors, with its profits skyrocketing from EUR 40 million to over EUR 659 million.

Rising star: Veripos Inc.

The UK company’s high-tech satellite navigation systems allow the offshore drilling and survey industries to navigate the challenging ocean environments they in which they operate. With its integration into the European Galileo constellation of positioning satellites, the company’s market share has grown to 30%.

Most innovative newcomer: Borregaard ASA

When you bite into that fresh baked good, chances are you taste a Borregaard produced vanillin ingredient made completely from wood as opposed to chemicals. The company invests up to 4% of its annual turnover in innovation, particularly in the development of fine and biochemical applications.

Most internationally-minded newcomers: Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA and Carbures Europe

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA: The Norwegian ocean transportation company ensures that your new vehicle makes it from manufacturer to dealership. As the sector continues to globalise, Wilh. Wilhelmsen is actively expanding into emerging markets, such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America, allowing its capitalisation to grow to EUR 1.5 billion.

Carbures Europe: The Spanish company’s innovative carbon-based, composite materials are redefining the manufacturing of planes, trains and automobiles. With a turnover of EUR 45 million and operations in Europe, the US and China, it is one of the only component suppliers to have a truly global footprint.

Among the winners, many have significantly increased both revenues and profits (+/- 100% year-on-year) since floatation. They deserve recognition and their success may prompt others to follow.

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