October 8, 2015 / 12:17 PM / 3 years ago

Barclays, BoA Merrill to lead Israel's Zim NY IPO: sources

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Plc will lead an initial public offering of Israeli shipping firm Zim on Wall Street next year, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

One source said no date or valuation have been set but the offering will be in New York, likely on the New York Stock Exchange.

Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch officials declined to comment.

Zim, the world’s 17th largest shipping line, is a unit of Kenon Holdings, controlled by billionaire Idan Ofer. A Kenon spokeswoman declined to comment.

Its shares, in which 29 percent are floated, were up 4.3 percent in Tel Aviv.

Zim said in an emailed response that it “has been contemplating going public and other financing options since 2007. This strategy has not changed. We have nothing to report at this time and do not comment on rumors”.

Like many others in the shipping industry, Zim had been hit hard by sluggish trade in recent years and has also borne the cost of upgrading its fleet to more efficient vessels.

Last year, Zim restructured $3 billion of its debt in which creditors took over 68 percent of the company and committed to take the company public.

In the second quarter, Zim posted an adjusted net profit of $23 million, compared with a net loss of $50 million a year earlier.

Reporting by Steven Scheer and Tova Cohen; editing by Adrian Croft

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