UPDATE 1-Italy's Fincantieri seeks cash for projects, acquisitions in IPO

Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:02pm EDT

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MILAN, June 16 (Reuters) - Italian shipmaker Fincantieri launched an initial public offering on Monday, seeking cash for projects in the pipeline and to fund potential acquisitions.

The state-owned company, which plans to offer up to a 38.2 percent stake, does not plan to pay dividends for the next three years, Fincantieri executives attending a roadshow in Milan said. It will instead focus on executing backlogged orders worth 9 billion euros ($12.25 billion).

The maker of vessels ranging from luxury yachts to military aircraft carriers had another 6 billion euros worth of preliminary deals in place, which could translate into final contracts, allowing the company to exploit its shipyards to the full, they said.

"Executing the current backlog will allow us a 50 percent growth in revenues in future years, lifting the company's margins as well," Chief Executive Giuseppe Bono said at the roadshow.

The company said on Friday it would offer a stake of up to 38.2 percent, mostly made up of new shares, at a price range between 0.78 euros and 1 euro per share.

That would value the company, which is wholly owned by Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) through its Fintecna unit, at between 1.57 billion and 1.84 billion euros, and the initial public share offering at up to 704 million euros.

Fintecna will at best be able to cash in 200 million euros from the listing, meaning the Italian treasury does not stand to gain much from the privatisation.

"We are launching a cash call to have a solid capital structure to meet future challenges," Bono said, adding the market was going through a consolidation process that could offer opportunities for the Italian group.

In 2013 the Italian company completed the acquisition of a 55.6 percent stake in Norwegian shipmaker STX OSV, later renamed Vard. ($1 = 0.7345 euros) (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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