DUBLIN Packaging conglomerate Ardagh Group [ARDGR.UL] launched a long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) late on Monday, as it sought to raise as much as $370 million by floating around 7 percent of the company on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Luxembourg-based supplier of glass and metal containers, controlled by Irish billionaire Paul Coulson, has announced - and then delayed - a stock market debut several times, but said last month that it intended to float this quarter.
It intends to sell 16.2 million shares in a price range from $17 to $20 apiece, representing approximately 6.9 percent of its share capital, Ardagh said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Should the deal's underwriters exercise an option to purchase up to 2.4 million additional shares, Ardagh said it could raise as much as $372.6 million (352.2 million euros) at the top of its price range.
Ardagh, which has been manufacturing Dutch brewer Heineken's (HEIO.AS) iconic green beer bottles for over 25 years and also counts L'Oreal and Coca-Cola among its clients, has said it will use the proceeds of the IPO to pay down debt which stood at $7.2 billion or over five times its annual earnings last year.
The packaging producer has grown its annual revenue to 7.7 billion euros through a series of acquisitions.
Coulson said last month that while the funds to be raised in the IPO would be relatively modest, becoming a publicly listed company was a "very logical progression" for the company he has transformed from a small, single plant to one that operates out of over 100 facilities in 22 countries.
Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs & Co, Barclays, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are acting as joint book-running managers. Ireland's Davy Stockbrokers and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as co-managers.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by G Crosse)