Tungsten eyes fresh IPO attempt in the autumn

Wed Jul 4, 2012 1:18pm EDT

Related Topics

* Aims to complete takeover deal before IPO

* Targets 1 billion pound market value

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - British bid vehicle Tungsten Corporation will make a second attempt at floating on the London Stock Exchange in the autumn after market turmoil forced it to scrap an initial attempt in May, its co-founder said on Wednesday.

Tungsten, which has said that it would consider buying the insurance units of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, aims to complete at least one takeover before it goes public, financier Edmund Truell told Reuters.

"We'd expect to take Tungsten public in the autumn, but probably with a deal under its belt so investors can see what it is they're investing in," Truell said.

"We would like to target something in the order of a 1 billion pound ($1.56 billion) market capitalisation."

Tungsten, set up to buy European financial services companies, is in exclusive talks to buy one of 50 takeover targets and is carrying out due diligence on two more, Truell added.

Truell declined to name the companies, but said they did not include RBS's Direct Line home and motor insurance business, which is planning an initial public offering of its own this year and is expected to value it at between 3 billion and 4 billion pounds.

Tungsten had intended to float as a cash shell in the third week of May, raising up to 200 million pounds, but it was forced to pull out as worries that Greece might be forced out of the euro zone triggered a plunge in share prices.

The company still wants to be publicly quoted because regulators may block it from buying banks and insurers on consumer protection or corporate governance grounds if it remains in private hands.

"We believe it's necessary to be public because regulators don't view private equity very highly as owners of sensitive financial businesses," Truell said.

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