* Offering could raise 600 mln to 800 mln euros - IFR
* Price range due around March 9 - sources
* Could be first major European IPO since mid-2011
By Roberta Cowan and Kylie MacLellan
AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Feb 29 Dutch cable firm
Ziggo launched an initial public offering (IPO) on
Wednesda, which could raise up to 800 million euros ($1.1
billion) for its founding shareholders and help kick start
Europe's dormant new listings market.
Ziggo's IPO will be made up solely of existing shares held
by its founding shareholders, which include affiliates of
private equity firms Cinven and Warburg Pincus
, the company said in a statement.
Europe has seen no sizeable IPOs since the middle of last
year as companies put their listing plans on ice during a period
of market volatility brought on by the euro zone debt crisis.
More buoyant stock markets -- the FTSEurofirst 300
index of top European shares has risen around 7 percent since
the start of the year -- have allowed several listed companies
to test investor appetite with share sales, either raising new
money or allowing major shareholders to cut their stakes.
Ziggo, whose shares will be floated in Amsterdam, is one of
the two main cable operators in the Netherlands providing TV and
internet services to about half of all Dutch households. The
other is UPC, owned by Liberty Global -- previously
touted as a potential buyer of Ziggo.
"It is stable, cash generative and defensive, yet has a good
growth profile. I think it is the ideal sort of IPO to reopen
the European IPO market," said one source close to the deal.
"If it gets going then people will start getting more
excited about IPOs, so it is important transaction from that
Ziggo is the second major IPO to kick off this month, after
Swiss-based DKSH, which helps companies market and distribute
their goods in Asia, began marketing a planned listing last
The Dutch firm, a more well-known name considered by some
working in the market to have a better chance of boosting
sentiment if successful, is running its offering on a slightly
accelerated basis to help reduce market exposure, so could pip
DKSH to the post in completing first.
European IPOs usually take around a month from launch to
completion. Instead, Ziggo will spend around 10 days marketing
the offering, two sources close to the deal said, with a price
range expected on March 9 when a management roadshows kick off.
It will then spend a further 10 days bookbuilding, with a
final price due to be set around March 20. Trading is expected
to begin on March 21, one of the sources said.
Cinven and Warburg Pincus, who delayed plans to list Ziggo
last year due to choppy financial markets, are aiming to raise
between 600 million euros and to 800 million from the sale, IFR,
a Thomson Reuters publication, reported on Tuesday.
The company is aiming for a free float of around 17.5
percent, one of the sources close to the deal said. Ziggo said
it would give further details on the timeframe and size of the
offering when it releases its prospectus.
The Dutch cable firm reported 1.48 billion euros in revenue
and 835 million euros in earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2011.
It said it intended to drive growth through a "TV
Everywhere" strategy offering services across TVs, PCs, tablets
and smartphones and continued growth in the provision of
broadband internet and telephony services to business customers.
J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are the joint
global coordinators for the offering, and joint bookrunners
along with Deutsche Bank and UBS.
ABN AMRO, HSBC, Nomura and
Rabobank are acting as joint lead managers and ABN
AMRO and Rabobank are the joint retail bookrunners. Societe
Generale is co-lead manager, Ziggo said.