The government in its Thursday meeting approved amendments to the transport development plan for 2014-2020 that concern the initial public offering (IPO) of shares in the state-owned port company Port of Tallinn (AS Tallinna Sadam).
Amendments will be made to the part of the transport development plan that deals with changing the state's single stake in Port of Tallinn into a majority stake. The amendment is necessary to list Port of Tallinn in such a way that the state still retains the majority of shares.
The government in November gave its consent to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to move forward with preparations for an IPO of shares in Port of Tallinn. The government also endorsed a plan for further actions with a view to carrying out the IPO, setting out basic principles and timelines.
"The purpose of getting Port of Tallinn listed is to increase the company's value and create investment opportunities for Estonian individuals as well as pension funds," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said at the time.
Ratas also said that increasing the attractiveness of Estonia in the eyes of foreign investors was very important to the government. "I believe that the floating of shares in Port of Tallinn will emerge as a very good opportunity for our partners in Europe and in the Nordic countries in particular to invest in Estonia," Ratas said.
The plan is to trade Port of Tallinn stocks starting at Nasdaq Tallinn in the first half of next year. One third of the shares in the company will be floated, and the remainder kept by the government.
"The higher the number of shareholders, the more it will motivate the company to adopt even greater transparency and effectiveness, and in the end the value of the company will grow," Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center) said in November this year. "Port of Tallinn is a successful company, and its listing will give the people of Estonia an opportunity to share in its success," she said.
Simson pointed out that the IPO would increase the company's recognition, enable pension funds to invest more of people's money in the domestic market, boost activity at the stock exchange, and contribute to Estonia's reputation as an investment environment.
Listing Port of Tallinn was agreed on in the coalition agreement of the governing parties signed last year. The company's aim is to list shares on the Tallinn stock exchange no later than by the end of the first half of 2018.
Editor: Dario Cavegn