Norway Findexa IPO Priced At NOK25/Share,Raising NOK1.1 Billion

The initial public offering for Findexa Ltd. ASA was Tuesday priced at 25 kroner (($1=NOK6.865) a share, valuing the Norwegian telephone directory publisher's market capitalization at NOK5.1 billion.

The initial public offering for Findexa Ltd. ASA was Tuesday priced at 25 kroner (($1=NOK6.865) a share, valuing the Norwegian telephone directory publisher's market capitalization at NOK5.1 billion.

The price was in line with that suggested by Findexa Monday when it said it was scaling back the offer in the face of jittery equity markets across Europe.

Conditional trading in Findexa is set to begin at 0800 GMT.

"Our investor roadshow was well received, and it was clear that there was good investor interest for the company and for the offer structure from blue-chip institutions," said Peter Darpoe, the company's chief executive.

He added: "We felt it was right therefore to proceed with a flotation that would create sufficient liquidity while minimizing dilution to existing shareholders. We believe speed, scale and quality of response to today's offering demonstrate the point."

The offering will bring in cash proceeds of NOK1.1 billion.

Findexa - Norway's largest publisher of telephone directories - was bought by investment group Texas Pacific Group in November 2001 from Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor ASA .

Findexa's Norwegian operations, the part of the directories business being floated by TPG, had revenue of NOK1.61 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of NOK780.1 million in 2003.

Findexa, which last week delayed the IPO by almost a week because of the current equity market environment, Monday reduced the offer price to NOK25 a share, from an initial offer range of between NOK30 and NOK40. It also reduced the size of the offering, having earlier expected to raise cash proceeds of around NOK2.45 billion, though it said at the new price the offer would be oversubscribed.

TPG will retain a shareholding of about 74.25% in Findexa, which will be reduced to just less than 71% if an over-allotment option is fully exercised.

Including the cash proceeds and the conversion of a shareholder loan, a total of 97.99 million shares will be issued by Findexa.

The company said 940,000 shares were sold by Findexa's owners for gross proceeds of NOK23.6 million. In addition, the owners have transferred 7.12 million shares to SSB Capital Partners Fund I.

The seller of Findexa have granted an over-allotment option to the IPO coordinators of up to 6.6 million additional shares, which can be exercised at any time up to June 24.

For the offering, Goldman Sachs International, UBS Investment Bank and CIBC World Markets acted as joint global coordinators. ABG Sundal Collier and Enskilda Securities ASA acted as co-lead managers.