* To offer 65 million shares at $18-$21 each
* To list shares on NYSE under symbol "IMS" (Add details on ownership, background, analyst comment)
By Neha Dimri
March 24 IMS Health Holdings Inc, backed by TPG Capital Management LP, said it expected to price its initial public offering at $18-$21 per share, valuing the healthcare information company at up to $6.97 billion.
The company said the sale of 65 million shares was expected to raise about $1.36 billion, based on the top end of the price range. (r.reuters.com/rag87v)
IMS said it would sell 52 million shares in the offering, with the rest being offered by shareholders.
"Right now there is big demand for IPOs that are subscription and cloud based," said Francis Gaskins, research director at Equities.com.
IMS provides prescription data to drugmakers, medical device companies, governments agencies and policymakers and also publishes analytical reports on the global healthcare industry.
The company said 90 percent of its information revenue in last three fiscal years came from subscription or license-based contracts.
Founded in 1954, the company has over 5,000 clients and operates in more than 100 countries, according to its website.
IMS had a total debt of $4.96 billion as of Dec. 31, according to the IPO filing.
The company was taken private in 2010 by TPG Capital, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Leonard Green & Partners LP for $5.2 billion, including debt.
After the offering, TPG Capital's stake will be diluted to 50 percent from 62.2 percent, without underwriters exercising their full option.
IMS Health has been highly acquisitive, buying 11 other companies since its buyout, according to its website. Five of these - Pygargus, Incential Software, 360 Vantage, Semantelli and Appature - were acquired in 2013.
IMS's operating income rose to $276 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30 from $173 million a year earlier. Revenue increased 4 percent to $1.87 billion.
JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters to the offering, IMS said.
Danbury, Connecticut-based IMS said it expected to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "IMS."
Earlier this month, shares of healthcare information provider Castlight Health Inc rose more than 160 percent in their debut, making the listing the strongest by a technology company so far this year. (Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Don Sebastian)