This year marks 20 years since Comarch's debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. On this occasion, on September 25, a meeting was held in the Warsaw Stock Exchange building, which was an opportunity to recapitulate the history of Comarch's shares quoted on the big trading floor.
During the meeting Prof. Janusz Filipiak, Founder and President of Comarch, presented in his speech the important role of the stock exchange in the development of Polish companies and showed how the company used the funds raised under the issue of shares for its global development.
The panel discussion on the capital market in Poland was attended by Marek Dietl, President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Paweł Borys, President of the Polish Development Fund, and Paweł Przewięźlikowski, President of Selvita.
Comarch’s shares debuted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 1999. At that time, the price per share was PLN 151, i.e. over 100% more than the issue price, which was set at PLN 47. Such performance meant that investors valued Comarch at PLN 230m and the company was then one of the fifty largest listed companies by value. In 2000, the second issue of shares took place, which provided the company with PLN 70m. In 2002, Comarch decided to issue convertible bonds, the proceeds from which amounted to PLN 40m. In total, Comarch raised PLN 124.1m through the stock exchange.
The funds obtained from the issue of shares enabled the company to implement the long-term strategy adopted in 1999. It assumed the development and sale of own products and technologies, entering international markets, making acquisitions, pursuing customer diversification, as well as increasing employment and investing in own infrastructure, including office buildings in the Kraków Special Economic Zone and data processing centres in Poland and abroad.
In 1998, we decided to enter the stock exchange. We didn't need capital. However, the company had grown, we employed several hundred people, we had a turnover of many millions of dollars. At the annual managerial meeting, young colleagues said that we had to become a listed company to enjoy the necessary prestige on the market and to develop further. Thanks to the issue, we were able to stabilise the company and it management and continue to grow. Importantly, entering the stock exchange is not only about raising capital at a moment crucial for the company, but also it means the increase in credibility and image building necessary for the company to spread wings on foreign markets. The history of Comarch shows that the stock exchange can be extremely important for Polish private companies. Unfortunately, not all of them see the benefits of being listed, primarily being afraid of excessive regulations, but the stock exchange does really help companies” says Janusz Filipiak, Founder and President of the Management Board of Comarch.