FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - German chip factory builder Exyte is planning to sell shares worth up to 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) in a Frankfurt stock market listing to be launched in September, people close to the matter said.
The company’s owner, Austrian entrepreneur Georg Stumpf, is seeking a valuation of 2.5-3 billion euros for Exyte, and is expected to sell 25-30 percent of the shares. No new shares are expected to be issued, they added.
Exyte, which was formerly known as M+W Group, declined to comment and Stumpf was not available for comment.
Bank of America and UBS are acting as global coordinators of the IPO with the help of bookrunners Commerzbank and Credit Agricole, the sources said, adding that Exyte will likely announce its intention to float in September.
Exyte builds sites for the semiconductor industry - including so-called cleanrooms with ultra-clean air crucial for silicon wafer production. Its other customers include firms active in electronics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, energy and information technology.
The company employs 4,800 staff and is headed by former Linde Chief Executive Wolfgang Buechele. In 2017, it generated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of more than 100 million euros on sales of 2.4 billion euros.
This year, Exyte is expected to post an EBIT of roughly 150 million euros and could be valued at up to 20 times that in a potential deal, one of the sources said.
That would be roughly in line with the valuation of peers such as Jacobs Engineering, Fluor Corp, Outotec and Wood Group, some of which are focused on different industries such as mining or oil&gas, where margins tend to be lower than in the hightech industry.
Georg Stumpf has made headlines as a “company raider” in the past when his investment firm Victory - which he ran with entrepreneurs Mirko Kovats and Ronny Pecik - bought Swiss engineering group Oerlikon in 2005.
When Victory broke up in 2008, Pecik took Oerlikon, while Stumpf kept M+W, which the firm had also acquired.
M+W, founded in 1912 in Stuttgart by Karl Meissner und Paul Wurst as a specialist for vacuuming saw dust in wood processing, expanded into building labs and production sites.
Eastern German optics group Jenoptik bought M+W in 1994 and later merged it with Zander Klimatechnik to form M+W Zander. Before Stumpf took over, the building technology unit - now called Caverion - was sold off.
In 2010, the Zander facilities management activities were divested and the portfolio review continues today. Last month Exyte sold a U.S. unit, NSTAR Global Services, to the firm’s management.
Editing by Alexandra Hudson