Blackstone-backed Pinnacle Foods prices IPO at high-end of range

Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:25pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP (BX.N)-backed Pinnacle Foods Inc's initial public offering raised $580 million after the packaged foods maker priced its offering at $20 per share, the high end of its expected range, an underwriter said.

The owner of the popular Bird Eye and Duncan Hines brands had expected to price the offering of 29 million shares at between $18 and $20 each.

Pinnacle Foods is valued at about $2.3 billion at the IPO price.

The stock is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PF" on Thursday.

Barclays and BofA Merrill Lynch are lead underwriters for the offering.

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.

Large companies that were taken over by private equity firms during the 2005-2007 buyout heyday are starting to tap the public markets as U.S. stock markets rally to record highs.

Private equity-supported companies such as Bain Capital-backed Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc (BFAM.N), Apollo Global Management-supported (APO.N) Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH.O) and Madison Dearborn-backed Boise Cascade (BCC.N) have had an impressive run on the markets after listing earlier this year.

A host of other private equity-backed companies are also gearing up for IPOs this year.

Technology products retailer CDW Corp and eye care company Bausch & Lomb, backed by private equity firms, filed with U.S. regulators last week to go public.

(Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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