CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Automotive supplier Stabilus plans Frankfurt IPO

Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:42am EDT

(Corrects 2013 EBITDA figure in seventh paragraph to 75.9 million euros from roughly 70 million euros, estimated valuation in eighth paragraph)

* Stabilus owner Triton to sell some shares

* Stabilus to offer new shares from capital increase

* IPO expected to be worth 200-250 million euros - source

FRANKFURT/LONDON April 25 (Reuters) - German automotive and industrial supplier Stabilus GmbH said it is planning to list in Frankfurt as its private equity owner seeks an exit, in an initial public offering expected to be worth up to 250 million euros.

The maker of gas springs and hydraulic dampers said private equity owner Triton will sell some of its shares and Stabilus will also place new shares from a capital increase of 65 million euros ($90 million).

Triton is planning to sell roughly a third of its stake, people familiar with the transaction said, adding the flotation, which is being organised by Commerzbank and JPMorgan, will likely take place in late May.

A source familiar with the matter said the total size of deal, for which Societe Generale and UniCredit are lead managers, would be 200-250 million euros.

Stabilus, whose products are used to define how fast a trunk lid opens or to individually adjust the height of a swivel chair, will use the proceeds to pay down some of its debt.

"The planned IPO is a sensible step and comes at a time when our finances and our organisation are very well set up for a successful, independent future," chief executive Dietmar Siemssen said.

The Koblenz-based company last year posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 75.9 million euros.

A similar earnings multiple to its peers would value the firm at around 600-650 million euros in a flotation.

German smallcap auto suppliers ElringKlinger and Norma trade at between 8-8.4 times their expected EBITDA, according to ThomsonReuters data.

LITTLE ACTIVITY

Stabilus is joining a swathe of companies tapping equity markets as an economic recovery lifts investor confidence and stock markets. Global IPOs almost doubled in value in the first quarter of 2014.

Germany, however, has so far seen little activity this year. Only 3D printer maker SLM Solutions has until now officially announced a flotation.

Triton took control of Stabilus in 2010 after the company - burdened with debt by its private equity owner Paine & Partners - breached its loan covenants. Triton injected fresh equity and agreed to waive some of Stabilus' debt which it had acquired.

In 2013, Stabilus issued a 315 million euro high yield bond , repaying all existing loans. It agreed with the bond investors that it can pay back 35 percent of the security early in case it raises its equity.

Stabilus, which last year posted sales of 460 million euros, has a 70 percent market share in gas springs for automotive purposes. All big carmakers are Stabilus customers, and it competes with companies like Germany's Brose or Edscha.

In non-automotive applications, which account for the remaining third of the sales, its market share stands at 35 percent. Stabilus wants to grow this business, hoping to benefit from a global trend to make closing devices more ergonomic and easy to use.

($1 = 0.7236 Euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Huebner; Additional reporting by Victoria Bryan and Freya Berry; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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