Owners of debt collector Lindorff appoint banks for listing: sources
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - - Sweden's Investor AB (INVEb.ST) and private equity firm Altor have picked banks for a listing of Norway-based debt collector Lindorff, five sources familiar with the matter said, a sign of growing activity in Nordic IPOs heading into next year.
The people, who declined to identified because the process is not public, said Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Swedish banks Carnegie and SEB (SEBa.ST) were appointed to lead a planned initial public offering (IPO) of Lindorff, which is valued at about 15 billion crowns ($2.29 billion), including debt of 770 million euros ($1.06 billion).
A listing of Lindorff, whose services include invoice administration and debt collection and which has seen earnings rise strongly in recent years, has been long-awaited by bankers and investors keen to see a larger-sized float in the region.
Altor has owned Lindorff for a decade. Investor bought 50 percent of the firm in 2008.
One of the sources said there was an 80 percent chance the listing would be in Stockholm, where the company's owners are based and rival Intrum Justitia (IJ.ST) is listed, and a smaller chance the company would be floated in Oslo.
The same source added Investor and Altor would likely keep a majority stake after a listing.
"It all depends on market sentiment, but I would be very surprised if Investor and Altor did not retain over 50 percent," the source said. "The two are fine to continue as large owners."
Investor, Altor, Lindorff and the banks all declined to comment.
Altor has said it wanted to list Lindorff and that a flotation could take place in the first half of 2014 at the earliest. Since then, the Nordic IPO market has picked up. Bath and toilet maker Sanitec started trading in Stockholm on Tuesday in Sweden's biggest IPO for seven years.
Lindorff's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation (EBITDA) and amortization rose more than 20 percent to 134 million euros in the 12 months through September, according to Investor's latest quarterly report.
Swedish competitor Intrum Justitia's shares have risen more than 70 percent this year, eclipsing a 19 percent gain in the wider market .OMXSPI. It is valued at around 12 times forecast 2014 EBITDA, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
Analysts tracking Investor expect Lindorff to post EBITDA earnings of around 140 million euros next year. Applying a multiple of 12 to that figure would yield a value in line with Investor's valuation.
When Investor, controlled by Sweden's Wallenberg family, bought half of Lindorff, Morgan Stanley advised Investor while Goldman Sachs advised Altor, people familiar with the deal said.
The Swedish banks also have relevant experience for a listing of Lindorff as they were involved in listing Intrum Justitia in 2002. Carnegie is owned by Altor, whereas Investor is the largest owner in SEB (SEBa.ST).
Lindorff employs about 2,600 people in eleven countries. Intrum Justitia employs 3,500 in 20 countries.
($1 = 6.5407 Swedish crowns)
($1 = 0.7289 euros)
(Editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans)
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