German software company SUSE targets pre-summer IPO: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Open-source enterprise software company SUSE is targeting a pre-summer initial public offering in a deal that may value the private equity-backed company with German roots at 7-8 billion euros ($8.3-9.5 billion), people close to the matter said.

The Linux specialist’s owner, buyout group EQT, has stepped up preparations for the deal and chosen a syndicate of banks to organise the deal, which is expected to kick off in May, they said.

Bank of America and Morgan Stanley will execute the deal as so-called global coordinators with the help of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Jefferies as bookrunners, they added.

EQT declined to comment, while some of the banks also declined to comment while others were not immediately available for comment.

A SUSE IPO would add to a busy season of new listings in Europe, which has already seen a $12 billion flotation from Polish firm InPost, $10 billion listing by German used-car trading platform AUTO1 and British boot brand Dr. Martens’ $5 billion IPO.

German mobile masts firm Vantage Towers, worth around $18 billion, and British food delivery firm Deliveroo have also announced listing plans.

SUSE, founded in 1992, was acquired two years ago by EQT from Micro Focus International for $2.5 billion. The private equity firm has strengthened SUSE with add-on acquisitions such as that of Rancher Labs for about $600 million in July.

SUSE’s revenue exceeded $450 million in the fiscal year to Oct. 31, with both the top line and profit growing in double digits. The annual contract value of bookings worth more than $1 million grew by 21% in its fiscal fourth quarter, while cloud bookings jumped by 87%.

($1 = 0.8401 euros)

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise