WRAPUP 3-Niska Gas Storage falls in debut, MIE postponed

Wed May 12, 2010 4:29pm EDT

* Niska closes at $19.10, 6.8 pct below IPO price

* Niska sold 17.5 million shares at $20.50 each in IPO

* Shares trading on NYSE under symbol "NKA"

* MIE Holdings IPO postponed on uncertain market (Updates with closing prices)

By Clare Baldwin

NEW YORK, May 12 (Reuters) - Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NKA.N) fell in its market debut on Wednesday, and Chinese oil company MIE Holdings Corp (MIE.N) postponed an initial public offering because of unfavorable market conditions.

"Right now IPOs are not ideal investment opportunities," said IPO Boutique Senior Managing Partner Scott Sweet. "People want safety."

Last week's unexpected sell-off in U.S. markets caused some analysts to wonder whether the window for new issues in the United States could shut.

Niska shares opened at $19.50, or 4.9 percent below their IPO price, and closed down even further, 6.8 percent below their IPO price at $19.10 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Niska on Tuesday sold 17.5 million shares at $20.50 each, raising $358.75 million. It had planned to sell 17.5 million shares at $20 to $22 each after raising the expected price range from $19 to $21 in April.

MIE Holdings last week slashed the expected value of its IPO by 60 percent. The company, which relies heavily on its relationship with state-owned PetroChina and politically connected executives, also said in a filing that Chief Executive Ruilin Zhang and his brother-in-law Jiangwei Zhao, senior vice president, and a company that the two own, Far East Energy Ltd, would no longer be selling shares in the IPO.

The northeastern China oil prospector and developer delayed its IPO pricing after the markets plunged late on Thursday and finally canceled its pricing plans on Wednesday, citing the uncertain market, an underwriter said.

Niska, the largest independent owner and operator of natural gas storage and assets in North America, owns facilities in Alberta, northern California and Oklahoma, according to a regulatory filing.

Funds affiliated with private equity firms Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] and Riverstone Holdings will control Niska's business operations after the IPO, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Niska said it would use proceeds from the IPO to repay revolving credit and for general purposes.

Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley led 11 underwriters on the Niska offering. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan led four underwriters on the MIE Holdings IPO. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by John Wallace, Dave Zimmerman and Steve Orlofsky)