Dong Energy’s initial public offering on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange has valued the company at $15bn, the world’s biggest stock market listing of 2016.
The result underlines the success of Europe’s offshore wind energy industry, and completes a remarkable transformation in the company’s business model.
Until it built its first windfarm in 1991, Dong was a conventional oil company with additional interests in power generation in Denmark. Now it has three-quarters of its capital tied up in the development and operation of offshore wind farms.
The Danish state remains the largest shareholder in Dong, with a 50.1% stake.
Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Denmark’s finance minister, said: "As a representative of the majority shareholder I’m pleased to see that there has been a lot of interest in becoming part of the ownership of Dong Energy – both among retail and professional investors. It gives Dong Energy a solid foundation to retain and develop its position as one of the leading green energy companies in the world."
The funding raised by the IPO will be used to continue the company’s expansion. At present most its assets are in UK waters, where it is developing Hornsea Project One, the world’s largest windfarm.
The company plans to have 6.5GW in place in Europe by the end of the decade.
It is also expanding into the newly formed US offshore wind market with projects off the coast of Massachusetts, and has recently announced a project in Taiwan.
Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Dong Energy, said: "All Dong Energy employees should take pride in having built one of the fastest growing, greenest, and most innovative energy groups in Europe."
The confirmation of Dong’s success came as a rather larger energy company, Shell, made an admission that it had been wrong to shun involvement in the offshore sector.
Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, told ITV news in the UK that he regretted the company’s decision to walk away from wind power. Shell was an early adopter of offshore wind power in the Netherlands, and onshore in the US, before withdrawing in 2009.
Van Beurden said Shell would soon launch a New Energies unit, which would include wind and solar.
He said: "We were significantly invested in solar, which didn’t work out for us. We were basically not able to make money, like many others, in producing solar panels so we got out of that business by and large.
"I would say our return into wind is a bit of a U-turn. If I have regrets it’s that we went out of wind when we did."