Wintershall DEA picks banks for initial public offering: sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - Oil and gas group Wintershall DEA has picked banks to organize its stock market flotation, which could become one of the largest European 2020 listings, people close to the matter said.

Deutsche Bank has been named as global coordinator for the listing, while Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are seen front-runners for further roles, the people said.

BASF, DEA and the banks declined to comment.

German chemicals group BASF and LetterOne, a vehicle of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman which owns DEA, in 2017 agreed on a merger that is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

The banks, which will be complemented with a number of other banks at a later stage, will help the company work on tasks such as formulating an equity narrative and talking to investors.

While the base case remains a 2020 listing, the company wants to ready for a listing by the end of the year to avoid missing any window of opportunity.

With earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 4.1 billion euros ($4.56 billion) in 2018, Wintershall DEA could be valued at 15-20 billion euros if it secures a valuation in line with peers.

In 2018, the combined business of Wintershall and DEA had pro-forma sales of 5.7 billion euros and a net income of 1.16 billion euros.

While Deutsche Bank has lagged its U.S. peers in global investment banking league tables, it has been able to secure a number of mandates recently in its German home market, including that for the flotation of Deutsche Bahn unit Arriva.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Clara Denina; editing by Thomas Seythal and David Evans