NRB bought a minority share in leather processing and hardware producing companies

Kurzovní lístek UB
Equity instruments IPO Fund NRI SME support

National Development Investments (NRI), a subsidiary of the National Development Bank (NRB), continues in providing support to SMEs in the form of capital inputs. Through the „Venture Capital – IPO fund“ program, it purchased 29.57% of newly issued shares of the KARO LEATHER Company, subscribed on the START market of the Prague Stock Exchange. Shortly afterwards, the NRI also bought 22.6% of newly issued shares of the HARDWARIO Company.

KARO Leather is one of the largest leather processing companies in Central and Eastern Europe. It buys raw hides and skins all over the world, then cuts, dyes and further processes them. Final products are purchased by large furniture companies across Europe. On 26 September 2022, the company successfully completed the second public offering of its shares on the START market. It offered a total of 1.1 million new shares in the price ranging between CZK 120 and 140. Newly issued shares are preferentially offered to existing shareholders who bought 5,000 shares. The remaining 1,095,000 shares were placed among investors in the Prague Stock Exchange’s START auction system. In the end, all 1.1 million new shares were successfully subscribed, bringing new capital in the total volume of CZK 132 million. NRI’s total shareholding in the firm is 6.5%.

HARDWARIO is a young Czech dynamically developing company that provides its partners with configurable Internet of Things (IoT) devices, connectivity and cloud services. They successfully deploy IoT projects in manufacturing, agriculture, retail, healthcare and asset management sectors. In addition to the configuration itself, the company is engaged in the development and production of the necessary hardware. The company decided to enter the START market of the Prague Stock Exchange in order to raise additional capital after the period of six years of successful operation not only on the Czech market, but through its branches also in the United Kingdom, the US and Poland. The company successfully completed an initial public offering of its shares on 18 October 2022. The issue of 2,870,000 new shares was subscribed at the lower lowest price level, i.e. CZK 17 per share. In total, the company was able to raise over CZK 48 million from investors, for its further expansion. The total shareholding of NRI in the company reached 4.5%.

“Both KARO Leather and HARDWARIO met all eligibility criteria of our “Venture Capital – IPO Fund” programme. Thus, the National Development Investments could support both of these companies by subscribing shares offered on the START market. We strongly believe that the IPO Fund is an efficient way of using public resources to help dynamic SMEs to grow – and these two offerings clearly confirm it. KARO Leather is a company with long tradition and remarkable manufacturing potential, while HARDWARIO is a dynamic company active in a sector with high growth potential, namely the Internet of Things,” explains Martin Potůček, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NRI.   

KARO Leather and HARDWARIO are second and third successful public offerings supported by the NRI. The first case was realized in spring 2021, when the NRI bought 12.7% of newly issued shares of the PRIMOCO UAV company. More information here.

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