October 15, 2015 / 2:40 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-First Data makes modest debut in year's biggest IPO

(Adds analyst comment, details)

By Rachel Chitra

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Shares in First Data Corp rose 2.6 percent in their debut on Thursday, valuing the payment processor at $14.42 billion in the largest initial public offering this year.

First Data, controlled by private equity firm KKR & Co LP , raised $2.56 billion by selling 160 million shares at $16 each per share, below the indicated range of $18 to $20.

The IPOs of several companies have been priced below their expected ranges since August due to market volatility.

The company, which was first spun off in an IPO by American Express in the early nineties, was taken private in 2007 by KKR for about $29 billion - one of the biggest leveraged buyouts before the financial crisis.

“Most IPOs have had to discount heavily to make them attractive. It’s interesting that First Data cut its price and not the offering size,” said Francis Gaskins, president of research firm IPO Desktop.

Atlanta-based First Data, which hived off money-transfer giant Western Union in 2006, plans to use proceeds from the IPO to reduce its debt of about $21 billion. (Reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Ted Kerr and Anil D‘Silva)

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