Blackstone-backed Pinnacle Foods seeks over $2 bln valuation in IPO

March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:03am EDT

March 15 (Reuters) - Packaged foods maker Pinnacle Foods Inc, backed by Blackstone Group LP, said it expects to raise as much as $667 million from its initial public offering.

The owner of the popular Bird Eye and Duncan Hines brands said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to sell 29 million shares at between $18 and $20 each.

At the top end of the range, Pinnacle Foods would be valued at about $2.3 billion.

The company initially filed a placeholder amount of $100 million when it filed to go public last December. It boosted the size of its offering last week to as much as $632.5 million.

The company, which was acquired by Blackstone in April 2007, manufactures branded food products in North America and had net sales of $2.5 billion in fiscal 2012.

Funds affiliated with Blackstone would retain a 68 percent ownership stake in the company following the offering, assuming underwriters fully exercise their option to buy additional shares.

Pinncale has been approved to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PF." Its shares would be priced on March 27 and trading would start the next day, underwriters told Reuters.

With equity markets approaching record highs in the U.S., private equity firms are looking to cash out on their investments. TPG-backed Taylor Morrison Homes Corp is also being queued up to go public this month, according to sources familiar with the deal. It would be one of the largest listed homebuilders.

Taylor Morrison, which is looking to take advantage of investor interest in the recovering U.S. housing market, doubled its planned IPO size last month to as much as $500 million.

Barclays and BofA Merrill Lynch are lead underwriters for the offering, among a syndicate of book runners including Credit Suisse Securities, Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank.