French artificial heart maker to IPO on July 13

Wed Jul 7, 2010 3:27pm EDT

* Carmat sets date, pricing of IPO

* Price of 18.75 eur per share at midrange of pricing

* Braves difficult IPO market

PARIS, July 7 (Reuters) - French artificial heart developer Carmat, which counts EADS EAD.PA amongst its shareholders, has set the date of its initial public offering for July 13 as it seeks extra funds to bring its product to market.

The company is braving a difficult environment for IPOs as volatile markets push some firms to delay or cut the price of planned flotations.

Paris-based Carmat is pricing the IPO at 18.75 euros per share, halfway between its previously indicated price range of 17.35 to 20.15 euros, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The float will represent 21.8 percent of Carmat's total capital and will give it a market value of 71.3 million euros ($89.81 million).

The extra cash will help Carmat test its artificial heart on humans from 2011 with the aim of selling it from 2013, Chief Executive Marcello Conviti said in the statement.

Carmat's artificial heart is the brainchild of Alain Charpentier, an award-winning surgeon at Paris' Georges Pompidou Hospital whose past backers include the late Jean-Luc Lagardere -- founder of media group Lagardere (LAGA.PA) -- and more recently EADS and private-equity firm Truffle Capital.

Carmat has said its artificial heart is more cutting-edge and more efficient -- thanks to automatic regulation -- than rival artificial hearts made by companies such as AbioMed (ABMD.O).

The IPO comes at a testing time for new listings in Europe as financial-market volatility makes companies hard to value and keeps investors wary.

The recent IPO of Accor (ACCP.PA) voucher business Edenred was priced at the lower end of its indicated range, while British fashion chain New Look and airline ticketing group Travelport have abandoned flotations. (Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Gary Hill)

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