UPDATE 2-Manz Automation raises 112 mln euros new capital

Wed Jul 2, 2008 7:34pm IST

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(Adds comment from bank)

ZURICH, July 2 (Reuters) - Manz Automation (M5ZG.DE) raised 112 million euros ($176.8 million) in its second capital increase since it went public in 2006, attracting strong demand from investors in Germany and Switzerland.

The German company, a maker of automation systems for solar production equipment, sold 896,011 new shares for 125 euros each, the joint-lead manager of the transaction, Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), said in a statement on Wednesday.

The take-up rate of the one-for-four rights offer was 99.2 percent. The book of rights not taken up by existing share holders was three-times oversubscribed, Commerzbank said.

"The sector is en vogue," said Oliver Bruch, head of equity syndicate at Commerzbank.

Consistently high returns of renewable energy companies were attractive for investors at a time when global equity markets battled the effects of a credit crisis stemming from problems in the U.S. mortgage market.

"Overall equity issuance, such as initial public offerings and secondary offerings are still difficult," said Bruch.

The strongest demand came from German speaking countries, mainly Swiss and German accounts, the bank said, mainly from social responsibility investments and long-only funds.

Manz shares, which are now trading in Deutsche Boerse's (DB1Gn.DE) prime standard segment from where they can move into one of the German indexes, were trading lower, down 1.2 percent at 156.50 euros by 1337 GMT. (Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Will Waterman and Erica Billingham)

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