March 29, 2013 / 9:56 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Turkey's Pegasus Airlines eyes mid-April IPO -sources

* Offering will help fund expansion

* Most of shares seen going to foreign investors

* Pegasus ordered 100 Airbus aircraft in December

ANKARA, March 29 (Reuters) - Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus Airlines aims to launch an initial public offering of around a third of the company in mid-April with most of the shares to be allocated to foreign investors, sources close to the deal told Reuters.

The Istanbul-based carrier said last week the offering, managed by Barclays and Is Yatirim, would help fund its expansion, increasing its capital to 102 million lira ($57 million) from 75 million.

The sources said 65-80 percent of the offer would be made to foreign investors. The sale will leave the airline with a free float of 31.4 percent, increasing to 34.3 percent if an over-allotment option is exercised, according to stock exchange data.

Pegasus - part of Esas Holding, which is also active in the food, healthcare and retail sectors - postponed a previous planned offering in 2011 due to poor market conditions.

The budget airline signed the second biggest aircraft deal in Turkish aviation history last December, ordering 100 Airbus aircraft with a list price of $7.5 billion.

Founded in 1990, and bought by Esas Holding in 2005, Pegasus has increased its fleet from just two aircraft to more than 40 mostly Boeing 737-800s over the past two decades.

The company posted a net profit of 126 million liras in 2012, and carried 13.6 million passengers. It serves 70 destinations in 26 countries.

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