February 7, 2013 / 2:15 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Linx IPO prices at top of range

* Shares sell for 27 reais each, top of 23-27 real range

* All 19.55 mln initial and supplementary shares sold

* Offer five-times oversubscribed, source says

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Linx SA, Brazil’s largest maker of management software for retailers, and its private investors sold 527.85 million reais ($265.1 million) of stock in an initial public offering, Brazil’s securities regulator, the CVM, said on Wednesday.

The shares were sold at 27 reais ($13.56) each, the top of Linx’s 23 real to 27 real suggested price range. All 19.55 million shares available in the offer, including a 2.55 million supplementary lot of shares, were sold, according to the CVM.

A source with direct knowledge of the transaction told Reuters on Tuesday that investors had placed firm bids for more than five times the amount of shares offered in the IPO. The source is not allowed by his employer to speak on the record.

Sao Paulo-based Linx sold 12.7 million shares worth 343.1 million reais in a primary offering, by which companies raise money to fund working capital, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes.

Investors who already owned stakes in Linx sold 6.84 million shares of Linx stock worth 184.7 million reais in a secondary offering. These investors included BNDES Participacoes SA , the holding company unit of Brazil’s state development bank BNDES, according to CVM documents.

The deal’s completion underlines expectations that access to Brazil’s IPO market will remain shut for companies with insufficient track records, poor earnings visibility or vulnerability to a downturn.

Linx has about 11,000 customers in Latin America’s largest economy and gives investors exposure to buoyant demand for software services by retailers, apparel producers and real estate developers.

Companies looking to go public face a delicate balancing act as they try to offer the right mix of risk and return to investors in the face of weak growth in Brazil. Stung by a string of IPOs that failed to deliver promised returns, investors are showing extra caution, casting a dark cloud over a pipeline of some $6 billion of potential initial stock offerings in Brazil this year.

“The fate of this transaction would have been different if the company was a startup or simply a name marketed by banks,” said a London-based fund manager who took part in the IPO but declined to be quoted by name. “Linx is an established name, and that’s why we wanted to participate,” said the fund manager, who is not allowed to speak on the record with the media.

Linx saw revenue rise 36 percent to about 190 million reais in the first nine months of last year, the most recent figure available.

Shares of Linx will trade under the ticker symbol “LINX3” on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.

Linx hired the investment-banking units of Credit Suisse Group, BTG Pactual Group, Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Morgan Stanley & Co to handle the deal.

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