Spanish online travel group eDreams Odigeo’s share price has tumbled as it listed on the Madrid stock exchange, a worrying sign for the richest new entry to the market in nearly three years.
Javier Perez-Tenessa, founder of the group which includes Go Voyages, Opodo and eDreams, rang the bell in the Madrid stock exchange’s main hall on Tuesday to mark the start of trade in its stock.
But within the first half hour of trade, the stock had skidded 5.89 per cent to 9.599 euros.
The sound of the bell announcing a new listing has barely been heard since summer 2011 when banking group Bankia arrived on the market, one year before it required a 20 billion euros ($A29.86 billion) state rescue to avoid financial collapse.
During two years of recession, from which Spain emerged gingerly in mid-2013, the stock market lured hardly any new players.
That changed only in the past few weeks, with two more modest listings of real estate firms Hispania and Lar Espana Real.
Meanwhile, the Madrid stock market has gained some strength: on Friday it hit its highest level since May 2011.
On listing, eDreams Odigeo becomes the largest listed e-business in Europe in terms of profits. In its float, shares were priced at 10.25 euros each, valuing the company at 1.1 billion euros ($A1.64 billion).
Its main shareholders, Permira and Ardian (ex-Axa Private Equity), will hold between 54.4 and 59.5 per cent of the capital.
The group, which employs more than 1,500 people including 650 in Spain and 320 in France and also includes sites Liligo and Travellink, boasts more than 14 million customers in 42 countries.
“The group’s strategy is to consolidate its world number-one position in online air ticket sales, while increasing revenue from other products via partnerships with specialists in their fields,” Odigeo said, alluding to businesses such as hotel and rental car reservations.
The group says its listing should allow further expansion and it has declared that it is ready to snap up interesting opportunities as they arise.
Odigeo rival Rumbo Bravofly is set to list on April 16 in Zurich, with a value of about 600 million euros ($A895.79 million).