* Prices IPO at $18/shr vs $18-$20 range-underwriter
* Sells 31.6 mln shrs, raises about $568.8 mln-underwriter
NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Car parts maker Sensata Technologies Holding (ST.N) priced shares in its initial public offering at the bottom of the expected range on Wednesday.
The company sold 31.6 million shares for $18 each, raising about $568.8 million.
It had planned to sell 31.6 million shares for $18 to $20 each.
Sensata makes most of its money by manufacturing sensors for automakers, but also makes thermal circuit breakers for aircraft, temperature controllers for electric motors, and other industrial technology.
The company, backed by funds associated with private equity firm Bain Capital, posted net revenue of $1.1 billion in the year ended Dec. 31, about 20 percent below where it was a year earlier. During the same period the company narrowed its net loss to $27.7 million from $134.5 million. Operating costs fell by nearly 20 percent and losses from discontinued operations fell to $395,000 from over $20 million.
Sensata said in its prospectus that it expects to benefit from increasing auto production and cars that rely more on computers, but also said it will continue to have significant debt following its IPO and expects to post losses in the foreseeable future.
The underwriters are being led by Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs & Co. They have the option to purchase an additional 4.7 million shares.
Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Phil Berlowitz