* Proceeds to repay debt, fund research and infrastructure
* BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan lead underwriters
NEW YORK, March 18 Allison Transmission
Holdings Inc, which makes automatic transmissions for fire
trucks, school buses and military vehicles, filed with U.S.
regulators on Friday to raise up to $750 million in an initial
The filing by Allison is one of a handful of
highly-anticipated auto sector IPOs. Chrysler Group LLC and
part suppliers International Automotive Components Group (IAC)
and Delphi are also expected to come public in the United
States and could do so this year.
The rush of auto-related IPOs was kicked off in November
with the $23.1 billion flotation of General Motors Co (GM.N).
The U.S. auto industry was driven to the brink of collapse
during the financial crisis, with automakers GM and Chrysler
both reorganizing in bankruptcy.
The outlook for the industry has since improved, but
analysts are closely watching how the unfolding earthquake,
tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan will impact the automotive
Allison Transmission's net sales grew to $1.9 billion in
2010, up 9 percent from a year earlier. The company swung to a
$29.6 million profit from a $323.9 million loss in the same
Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission is owned by private
equity firms Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] and Onex. It said it would
use proceeds from the offering to repay debts and for
investments in technology, infrastructure and research.
Reuters reported in February that Allison Transmission had
selected underwriters and was planning to file for an IPO of
about $1 billion. [ID:nN24278219]
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Citigroup (C.N) and
JPMorgan (JPM.N) are leading the underwriters on the IPO. The
filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to
sell or their expected price.
(Reporting by Aditi Sharma in Bangalore, Clare Baldwin in New
York and Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit; Editing by Maju Samuel
and Tim Dobbyn)