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UPDATE 1-Ziggo prices 804 mln euro IPO at top of range
March 20, 2012 / 7:47 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Ziggo prices 804 mln euro IPO at top of range

* Largest European IPO since July 2011

* Values company at 3.7 billion euros (Adds detail, background)

By Kylie MacLellan and Roberta Cowan

LONDON/AMSTERDAM, March 20 (Reuters) - Dutch cable company Ziggo priced its initial public offering (IPO) at the top of its expected range on Tuesday, raising 804 million euros ($1.1 billion) for its shareholders and making it the biggest European listing since mid-2011.

Ziggo said it had priced its IPO at 18.50 euros per share, at the top of an original 16.50 to 18.50 euro per share range. Its shares will debut on the Amsterdam Euronext stock exchange under the ticker “ZIGGO.AS” on Wednesday.

The offering of a 21.7 percent stake, which the company said was many times oversubscribed at the offer price, values Ziggo at 3.7 billion euros.

If a 15 percent overallotment option is exercised in full, the size of the IPO will rise to 25 percent of the company.

Initially the firm said it would sell a 20 percent stake, but due to “significant demand,” from investors, Ziggo said on Monday it had increased the number of shares on offer.

Around 11.5 percent of the offering, the largest in Europe since Spanish savings bank Bankia’s 3.1 billion euro sale last July, was sold to Dutch retail investors.

The sale, which did not include any new shares, will see majority owners private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Cinven reduce their stakes.

Ziggo was built up by Warburg Pincus which initially invested in Multikabel in 2005, and then embarked on a build-up strategy with partner Cinven. The pair added Casema and Essent Kabelcom both in 2006 and @Home in 2007, after which the company was rebranded as Ziggo.

“We identified the Dutch cable market as an attractive and growing industry and then created a new national market leader by backing an exceptional management team to acquire and successfully integrate three regional cable companies,” said Joseph Schull, head of Warburg Pincus in Europe.

Ziggo competes in its home market with Liberty Global’s cable firm UPC, and the Dutch telecoms incumbent Royal KPN. Both Ziggo and UPC have lured customers away from KPN with their bundled offers of television, high-speed internet and telephone service.

Ziggo said it intends to reward investors with healthy dividends and has targeted a total dividend pay out in 2012 of 220 million euros. From 2013 onwards, it plans a dividend of at least 50 percent of free cash flow to equity.

Ziggo, which reported revenues of 1.48 billion euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 835 million in 2011, intends to drive growth through a “TV Everywhere” strategy offering services across TVs, PCs, tablet computers and smartphones.

It also has said it intends to grow the business by offering broadband internet and telephony services to business customers as well as to consumers.

J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are the joint global coordinators for Ziggo’s IPO and joint bookrunners along with Deutsche Bank and UBS. ($1 = 0.7564 euros) (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford and Tim Dobbyn)

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