COPENHAGEN, June 9 (Reuters) - Shares in DONG Energy jumped as much as 10 percent on Thursday after the Danish utility and wind farm developer sealed the biggest European stock market flotation this year.
The company, which has built more than a quarter of the world's offshore wind farms, sold shares at 235 Danish crowns apiece, in the top half of its 200-255 crowns guidance range and valuing the business at 98 billion crowns ($15 billion)
At 0840 GMT, the stock was trading at 258.7 crowns, having earlier touched 260 crowns.
The flotation raised a gross 17 billion crowns for the Danish state and a consortium of investors led by Goldman Sachs.
The valuation means Goldman has doubled an 8 billion crown investment made just two and a half years ago, fuelling criticism in Denmark that the previous government sold an 18 percent stake to the Goldman consortium too cheaply.
DONG's listing gives investors the chance to buy into the fast-growing offshore wind sector. The firm has major projects in Britain and Germany, including the 1.2 gigawatt Hornsea 1 which will become the world's largest offshore wind farm, and recently opened offices in the United States and Taiwan.
However, offshore wind power is one of the most expensive sources of renewable energy and some analysts are concerned about the sector's reliance on government subsidies.
DONG derived 62 percent of its revenue on operational offshore wind farms last year from subsidies and other financial support, such as Green Certificates in Britain.
"A price of around 260 (crowns) is within what we see as fair value for the share," said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.
"In the short term, the share price could rise further because of the limited number of shares offered relative to the total capital."
DONG did not issue new shares, while the government and Goldman consortium sold a combined 17.4 percent stake. The state will retain a holding of just over 50 percent, while the Goldman group will have a stake of 13.4 percent after the flotation.
Gross proceeds could rise to 19.7 billion crowns if the sellers exercise a so-called overallotment option to offload further stock.
DONG has made a net loss for each of the last four years, mainly due to impairment charges on its oil business, but expects to make a profit this year as its wind power business increases and the technology improves.
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