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Defence supplier Hensoldt to price IPO at low end of range -bookrunners

FRANKFURT, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Private equity-owned German defence supplier Hensoldt is expecting to price its initial public offering at the low end of its marketing range, the bookrunners organising the deal said on Wednesday.

Potential investors in Hensoldt, whose high-tech cameras are used in Tornado fighter jets, are being guided to expect a price of 12 euros per share with books closing later on Wednesday and trading to start on Friday. Shares worth up to 460 million euros are being sold in the IPO.

Bankers cited a rise in market volatility this week as a reason for risk averse investors shying away from orders at a higher price.

In a separate deal, Germany’s caravan maker Knaus Tabbert which had priced at the bottom of the range and cut the number of shares on offer, fell below its offer price.

Hensoldt, a former Airbus unit which also supplies radar for Eurofighter jets and periscopes for Leopard and Puma tanks, was bought by KKR in 2016. It has offered up to 45.81 million shares, including an over-allotment option, in a 12-16 euros per share range.

“Books are covered at [12 eur/shr] on the base deal size plus the greenshoe,” the bookrunners said.

Hensoldt is set to rake in 300 million euros from the sale of the new shares, while private equity owner KKR will reap 160 million euros in proceeds from selling part of its stake, if the greenshoe is exercised.

The share sale at 12 euros apiece values Hensoldt at about 11 times its core earnings, while peers Ultra Electronics and Mercury Systems trade 10 and 20 times their earnings, respectively. ($1 = 0.8441 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)