Fable: All That Glisters . . . . . .

13 years ago a semiconductor company went public on the Frankfurt exchange.

There had been a frantic struggle to get onto the ‘family and friends’ list to get priority allocation.

It was the hottest IPO of the year as a charismatic young CEO plugged the business’ potential.

The shares were offered in March at 35 euros and soared to 75 euros in a few days valuing the company at 45 billion euros making it Germany’s seventh most valuable company.

Two years later the shares were below 10 euros where, with a few brief exceptions, they have stayed ever since.

Moral: Perception is all



  1. You’re absolutely right, Gil, there was greed in the air, people were desperate to get Infineon shares. Very unsavoury. And look where it got them!

  2. Funny that you should drill on the family and friends share involvement. It was something that made me very uncomfortable and can best be described as an atavistic rapacity for the shares – bordering on sheer mindlessness (and hence, my negative bet).

    The shares were tendered at the very peak of the Dot-com bubble (March 2000) so one cannot fault the Don’s of the Pink Palace on their timing…,

  3. Smart move, g8russ, I think a lot of the subsequent unpleasantness at Infineon was because may of the ‘family and friends’ of board members at Infineon and Siemens who applied for priority shares at the IPO subsequently saw their investment degrade alarmingly.

  4. I was an employee of Siemens at the time of the Infineon IPO.

    A back of the envelope calculation coupled with conditions going forward saved me from what turned out to be a bad financial decision for many of my colleagues.
    Decided to buy Put Options instead and made a nice piece of change. Besides, there was no lockout period on the Put….,

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