June 16, 2014 / 10:41 AM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-EQT picks banks for hotel chain Scandic IPO -sources

* Morgan Stanley, SEB to lead Stockholm listing of hotel operator Scandic

* Scandic could be valued at more than EUR 1 bln including debt (Adds detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, June 16 (Reuters) - Swedish private firm EQT has picked Morgan Stanley and SEB to lead a stock market listing of hotel operator Scandic, two people familiar with the matter said.

The sources declined to be identified because the plans are not yet public. EQT, which owns 78 percent of Scandic, declined to comment, as did Scandic and the banks.

Reuters reported in April that EQT had invited banks to compete for roles in the initial public offering of the largest hotel operator in the Nordic region, which could value it at more than 1 billion euros, including debt and take place later this year.

The Nordic IPO market has picked up pace in recent months, particularly in Sweden, which saw a two-and-a-half-year drought in its main market that lasted until November last year.

EQT was one of the main stakeholders in the biggest offering in the Nordics since 2010 when Danish outsourcing firm ISS was listed in March, and also saw its bathroom firm Sanitec carry out Sweden’s biggest IPO for seven years in December.

Both shares have strongly outperformed the wider market.

For Morgan Stanley, Scandic represents another high-profile IPO mandate in the region after it helped take ship fuel firm OW Bunker to the Copenhagen bourse this year. Morgan Stanley is also one of three banks to lead the IPO of Swedish cable operator Com Hem IPO-COM.ST, whose shares are set to start trading in Stockholm on Tuesday.

It has also been hired to lead the listing of debt collector Lindorff together with other banks, sources told Reuters in December.

Scandic had revenue of 913 million euros in 2013 and earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) of 80 million.

Those figures will be boosted by its acquisition of Norway’s Rica Hotels from the Rivelsrud family this year with 72 hotels, taking Scandic’s total number of hotels to 223. Scandic has not published separate figures for Rica. (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; editing by Niklas Pollard and Louise Heavens)

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