(Adds detail, background, Coface comment)
PARIS, June 26 Coface set a price for its stock market listing in the middle of the previously indicated range, enabling owner Natixis to raise about 832 million euros ($1.13 billion) by selling 51 percent of the French credit insurer.
The initial public offering price of 10.4 euros a share gives Coface a market value of around 1.63 billion euros, Natixis said in a statement on Thursday. The price range was 9.6 to 11.2 euros.
"The offering has benefited from strong demand from French and international institutional investors," Coface said in a separate statement.
Natixis said it would retain 49 percent of Coface after the IPO, or 41.35 percent if it fully exercises an over-allotment option of up to 15 percent of the offer, which would take the size of the IPO to as much as 957 million euros.
The IPO is part of Natixis' plan to gradually dispose of its Coface holding and focus on wholesale banking, asset management and specialised financial services. Analysts see the deal lifting Natixis' core Tier 1 ratio, a measure of a bank's ability to withstand shocks.
Coface offers insurance to protect companies against the risk of default by their customers. It wants to focus on this business and has sold its third-party recovery business and its factoring operations outside Germany and Poland.
Set up in 1946 as France's export credit agency, Coface was privatised in 1994 and bought out by Natixis in 2002, becoming a fully owned subsidiary in 2006. Coface delisted in 2002. It aims to launch new products, such as offers for small and medium-sized companies, and hopes to boost its presence abroad by expanding in 10 new countries.
Coface shares are due to start trading on Euronext in Paris on Friday.
JPMorgan and Natixis are acting as global coordinators, joint lead managers and joint bookrunners.
BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley & Co International Plc are acting as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners. Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Commerzbank, ING, Banca IMI and Banco Santander are acting as co-lead managers.
($1 = 0.7359 Euros) (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michel Rose and David Evans)