UPDATE 1-Gas tanker firm Avance announces Oslo IPO

Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:26am EDT

OSLO, March 12 (Reuters) - Gas tanker operator Avance Gas Holding is planning an initial public offering (IPO) and aims to list its shares on the Oslo Bourse in April, one of its owners said on Wednesday, joining a flurry of Nordic firms planning stock market debuts.

"As part of the IPO, Avance Gas will raise new capital to pursue consolidation opportunities, and in addition, the three major shareholders are considering selling shares in order to facilitate sufficient share liquidity," Stolt-Nielsen Limited said.

Avance Gas was formed by a merger of shipping assets from Stolt-Nielsen, Frontline 2012 and Sungas Holdings, and the fleet consists of six very large gas carriers (VLGC), with eight further new-buildings on order.

The Nordic region has seen the announcement of several IPOs in recent weeks, including by Danish outsourcing firm ISS, Swedish property firm Hemfosa, Norwegian shipping firm Tanker Investments and Danish shipping fuel supplier OW Bunker.

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) will be global coordinator of the Avance IPO, while DNB Markets, Pareto Securities and SEB have been appointed as joint bookrunners. Danske Bank, Nordea Markets and Swedbank have been retained as co-managers.

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