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November 24, 1998

GERMAN BREWERY BECOMES NET INVESTMENT BANK NET.IPO

By CBR Staff Writer

Brauhaus Amberg AG, a German brewery with its HQ in the town of Amberg, has just changed its name to net.IPO AG, and moved from making beer into investment banking over the internet, to sell shares in companies preparing for flotation. Initial public offerings (IPOs) always have a lead manager and a co-lead manager, but we want to be the e-manager, selling the company’s shares to retail investors over the internet, explained Stefan Albrecht, a director of net.IPO. For that purpose, an extraordinary general meeting of Brauhaus Amberg shareholders voted not only to change the company’s name, but also to move its HQ to Frankfurt, the center of Germany’s IPO activity. Albrecht, who left Deutsche Bank’s new issues business to join the company, explained that the Heidelberg-based Deutsche Balaton group bought the brewery, which had declared bankruptcy, as a shell company in July. The reason for the buy-up was that the brewery already had a quote. A start-up normally has to wait two years before it can raise equity, but as we are already listed the Frankfurt and Munich official markets, we can carry out a capital increase with pre-emptive rights at once, Albrecht explained. The plan is to first do a 20-for-one stock split of the current equity, then give each of the resulting shares the right to subscribe to 24 new shares at DM5.75 each. We’ll go from 10,000 shares to five million by the end of the capital increase, said Albrecht. The company is also awaiting permission from Germany’s banking supervisory board to enter the new issues business. Albrecht said he expected the board to pronounce on this subject by the end of this year.

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