Skift Take

An IPO for Eastern Europe's answer to Ryanair points to the continued strength of the low-cost carrier model in Europe.

Wizz Air, Eastern Europe’s biggest budget carrier, has appointed Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to manage an initial public offering in London, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The sale of the carrier, created in 2003, may happen as early as the second half of this year, one of the people said, asking not to be named as the plans aren’t public.

Companies including state-run U.K. postal service Royal Mail Group Ltd. and vodka maker Stock Spirits Group are lining up IPOs in London as global investors return to the market. The carrier faces heightened competition in some of its markets as Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount airline, adds more bases in the east of the continent.

A spokesman for Wizz Air in Geneva declined to comment on the proposed sale. Spokesmen for Barclays, Citigroup and JPMorgan also declined to comment.

Wizz Air has a fleet of more than 40 Airbus SAS single-aisle planes, with an average age of about three years, according to its website.

Issuers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa raised about $12 billion in IPOs this year, more than double what they sold in the same period in 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

With assistance from Robert Wall in London. Editors: Chris V. Nicholson, Christopher Jasper. To contact the reporters on this story: Ruth David in London at [email protected]; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at [email protected]. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at [email protected]

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Tags: low-cost carriers, wizz air

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