EQT invites banks to pitch for IPO of hotel chain Scandic -sources

STOCKHOLM, April 29 Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:00pm EDT

STOCKHOLM, April 29 (Reuters) - Swedish buyout house EQT [EQT.UL is planning a stock market listing for hotel operator Scandic, which could be worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion) including debt, two people familiar with the matter said.

EQT has invited banks to compete for roles in the initial public offering (IPO), they said.

The people, who declined to be identified because the plans are not public, said a listing of Scandic Hotels, the largest hotel chain in the Nordic region, could take place this year.

Scandic declined to comment. EQT, which owns 78 percent of Scandic, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Scandic would add to a bulging pipeline of Nordic IPOs and several successful listings of private equity-owned firms in recent months spurred by rising stock markets.

EQT listed toilet and bath maker Sanitec in Stockholm in December, and Danish outsourcing firm ISS in March. Both have strongly outperformed the wider market.

Scandic had revenue of 913 million euros in 2013 and earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) of 80 million.

Those figures don't include Scandic's acquisition of Norway's Rica Hotels from the Rivelsrud family this year with 72 hotels, taking Scandic's total number of hotels to 223. Scandic has not published separate figures for Rica.

EQT bought Scandic, which employs around 13,000, from Hilton Hotels in 2007, just months before Hilton itself was taken private by buyout house Blackstone. ($1 = 0.7237 Euros) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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