France's Tarkett prices IPO below midpoint of offered range

PARIS Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:49pm EST

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PARIS (Reuters) - Private-equity-backed French flooring maker Tarkett (TKTT.PA) said it priced its initial public offering at 29 euros per share, below the midpoint of its offered price range, giving the company a total market value of 1.85 billion euros ($2.49 billion).

The final pricing appeared to buck the trend of several recent European IPOs that were priced at the top end of their indicative range on the back of strong investor demand.

Tarkett, the latest in a raft of companies to tap the stock market including cable operator Numericable (NUME.PA) and UK postal service Royal Mail (RMG.L), said it raised 461.64 million euros from the sale of 25 percent of its share capital, or 530.9 million if the overallotment option is fully taken up.

The final pricing was slightly below the 30.83-euro midpoint of the expected range of 27.75 euros to 33.90 euros announced by Tarkett earlier this month.

By comparison, IPOs such as Numericable, Royal Mail and Blue Solutions (BLUE.PA) have been priced at the top of their range.

There have been some exceptions: Britain's Just Retirement (JRG.L), which provides financial services to retirees, priced its London listing at the midpoint of its offer range.

Tarkett Chief Executive Michel Giannuzzi said the IPO was a "great success" and that the company would pursue profitable and sustainable growth.

Tarkett's shares will begin trading on Friday. Assuming the overallotment is taken up, the company's family shareholders will own 50.1 percent, private-equity fund KKR will own 18.9 percent and the company will have a free float of 28.7 percent.

($1 = 0.7429 euros)

(Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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