Sweden's Ratos to prepare window maker Inwido for IPO

STOCKHOLM, Sept 1 Mon Sep 1, 2014 2:22am EDT

STOCKHOLM, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Swedish private equity firm Ratos said on Monday it was planning to list window and door maker Inwido, in which it owns 97 percent, on the Stockholm stock exchange before the end of the year.

Sources told Reuters in March that Ratos had appointed Carnegie and Handelsbanken to advise it on a listing or sale of Inwido, which is its biggest holding and Europe's largest window and door manufacturer.

Ratos said it would give further information about terms, conditions and a timetable at a later date.

Pressed by a weak market for windows and doors in the Nordic region in 2011-2013, Inwido launched an extensive cost savings programme.

"Now, as the housing market in the Nordic region is starting to recover, this, combined with continued efficiency improvement work, creates a good starting point for a further strengthening of earnings," Ratos said in a statement.

It added that at the start of the third quarter, Inwido's order backlog was 20 percent higher compared with a year ago.

Inwido's sales increased by 6 percent to 2.2 billion Swedish crowns ($315 million) in the first six months of the year, adjusted for currency and structural effects.

Operating profit rose to 155 million crowns from 88 million, resulting in an EBITA-margin of 7.0 percent.

Inwido's largest market is residential construction in Sweden. Ratos has owned Inwido since 2004.

(1 US dollar = 6.9880 Swedish crown) (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Simon Johnson and Mark Potter)