German tank gearbox maker Renk returned to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Wednesday, highlighting growing investor appetite for the defense industry in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Shares in the Augsburg-based company traded at 17.50 euros ($19) at the opening, well above the IPO price of 15 euros that valued Renk at over 1.5 billion euros.
Most of the company’s contracts are in the defense sector, where order books are currently overflowing. But Renk’s products also include components for the hydrogen and heat pump sectors, considered crucial to the shift towards green energy.
The stock market entry “opens up new prospects for sustainable growth in the defence sector, but also in the area of the energy transition,” said Renk CEO Susanne Wiegand.
Founded in 1873, the company employs some 3,400 people and has annual revenues of around 850 million euros.
Renk was first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange from 1923 until 2020, when it was sold to investment firm Triton for around 700 million euros.
Triton, which raised around 500 million euros with the share sale, remains the largest shareholder.
The war in Ukraine has put German armaments companies back in the spotlight as European countries rush to supply military aid to Ukraine and beef up their own defenses.
Rheinmetall, which supplies parts for the Leopard tanks used in Ukraine, joined Germany’s blue-chip DAX index last March and has seen its share price soar since then.