Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2007 (Revised August 2012)

Warburg Pincus and emgs: The IPO Decision (A)

by G. Felda Hardymon and Ann Leamon


Two partners of Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, are trying to decide whether to take a portfolio company public, and on what exchange. The company, Norway-based ElectroMagnetic GeoServices (emgs), has developed a market-leading technology that determines whether an undersea rock formation contains oil -- prior to the oil company drilling a hole. With its high-growth characteristics, emgs is very different from the typical oilfield services company, and would be more suitable for floating on the NYSE or LSE, where liquidity and valuations would also be greater than on the Oslo Bors, the other possibility. Yet floating in the U.S. would involve greater compliance expense and might also require the management team to move to New York or Houston, something the team is reluctant to do. The partners need to decide what to do before the IPO window for energy-related companies closes.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Private Equity; Initial Public Offering; Investment; Globalized Firms and Management; Norway; England; United States;


Hardymon, G. Felda, and Ann Leamon. "Warburg Pincus and emgs: The IPO Decision (A)." Harvard Business School Case 807-092, May 2007. (Revised August 2012.)