CVC mulls $3.4 bln IPO of Sweden’s Ahlsell, say sources: Reuters

Buyout firm CVC is mulling a stock market listing for Swedish construction products and tools supplier Ahlsell, which could be worth around 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) including debt, people familiar with the matter said. The sources said CVC had invited banks to discuss options for an initial public offering (IPO) of Ahlsell which could happen next year, although no firm timing had been set. “They invited a few selected banks to pitch last week,” one source familiar with the matter said. CVC and Ahlsell declined to comment. The sources declined to be identified because the plans are not public. Plans to list Ahlsell add to a big IPO pipeline of private equity-owned Swedish companies after a record first half of the year, when 12 companies floated on the Stockholm bourse’s main board. Most of them have strongly outperformed the wider market. Ahlsell, which CVC bought in 2012 for 1.8 billion euros from Cinven and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs, would probably be the biggest among known IPO candidates in Sweden in the next year. Private equity-owned companies on track for listings this year include Bain’s Bravida, EQT’s Dometic and AcadeMedia, as well as PAI’s Perstorp. Deutsche Bank advised CVC when it bought Ahlsell, whereas Goldman Sachs and Nordea advised the sellers. All three banks helped finance the deal. Ahlsell employs around 4,800 people and had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.9 billion Swedish crowns ($227 million) in 2014 on sales of 21.8 billion, most of it in Sweden. Apart from the Nordic countries, it has some sales in Estonia, Russia and Poland.

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CVC mulls $3.4 bln IPO of Sweden’s Ahlsell, say sources: Reuters

Italy’s Versace may pick U.S. or Asia for listing, says CEO: Reuters

Fashion house Versace may pick the United States or Asia for its planned stock market listing, its chief executive said on Tuesday, following other prestigious Italian brands such as Prada and Ferrari. Versace, in which private equity group Blackstone bought a 20 percent stake in 2014, is working on an initial public offering which a source close to the matter said could take place as early as next year. The group expects to close 2015 with sales of more than 630 million euros ($703 million), up from 549 million euros last year, CEO Giangiacomo Ferraris said on Tuesday. He added however that both China and Russia were a concern. He declined to give a timing for the float, saying it depended on external factors such as market conditions. “But we’re seriously working towards it,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event. “We want to be ready.” Ferraris said there were several options for the bourse listing. “Our market shares in Asia are well distributed. Our investor Blackstone is American with offices in London, our brand is Italy-based so the range of possibilities is large. We’ll decide when the moment comes,” he said. The group famous for its Medusa head logo returned to profit in 2011 after struggling for years following the murder, in 1997, of founder Gianni Versace. It is now led by creative director Donatella Versace. “The (IPO’s) goal is to ensure the long-term prospects of the company and reduce its dependence on the family,” Ferraris said. Milanese fashion house Prada picked Hong Kong in 2011 for its stock market listing, betting on fast-rising consumer demand in the world’s second-largest economy. Luxury sports car maker Ferrari plans to list its shares in New York next month. An economic slowdown in China, which in recent years has been the luxury sector’s growth engine, is increasing the appeal of mature markets such as the United States for luxury brands. The Russian economy in turn is seen contracting sharply this year, hit by the impact of international sanctions due to the crisis in Ukraine.

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Italy’s Versace may pick U.S. or Asia for listing, says CEO: Reuters