UPDATE 1-Cable operator Kabel BW unveils IPO plans

Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:18am EST

* KabelBW intends to float in H1 2011

* D. Bank, JP Morgan advising

* Details to follow in coming weeks

(Adds details, background)

By Josie Cox and Nicola Leske

FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) - German cable operator Kabel BW [KBWHL.UL] on Friday unveiled plans to float on the German stock exchange in the first half, in a further sign of issuer appetite for IPOs in Europe.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and JP Morgan (JPM.N) are joint global coordinators for the initial public offering (IPO). BofA Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) will act as joint bookrunners.

The group said in a statement that it would provide more details of the listing in the coming weeks.

Last month Reuters learned from sources that five parties had made offers to buy Kabel BW -- which has been owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT [EQTPRK.UL] since June 2006 -- including financial investors CVC [CVC.UL], Cinven [CINV.UL], Hellman and Friedman, Providence and Liberty Global (LBTYA.O).

Financial sources said on Friday that EQT is still sounding out a potential sale but is expected to push ahead with the IPO. A final decision is likely next week, the sources said.

After a somewhat lacklustre 2010, Germany's IPO market is showing clear signs on resurgence, in sync with the wider European market.

Last year, Providence Equity Partners pursued a dual-track strategy for larger domestic rival Kabel Deutschland (KD8Gn.DE) (KD8Gn.DE) (KDG) and opted for a listing in March. [ID:nLDE62L045]

Issuers are keen to take advantage of buoyant and relatively stable stock markets, bankers say, and with an extended holiday looming, they are rushing to launch their IPO in the next few weeks. [ID:nLDE71H0EV]. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a factbox on the EMEA IPO pipeline, see [ID:nLDE71K1XB] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

By publishing its intention to float, KabelBW follows in the footsteps of engineering group Norma which announced its IPO plans on Thursday. [ID:nLDE7291TI]

German bicycle maker Derby Cycle DCTG.DE and software group RIB (RSTAG.DE) completed market debuts in February, ahead of British racing team Williams Grand Prix Holdings (WGF1G.DE), which floated earlier this month. [ID:nLDE7161J0] [ID:nLDE7201YD]

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