Investor 3i’s Norma sets eyes German IPO on April 8

By Josie Cox

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German engineering group Norma aims to begin trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on April 8, the group said, after global stock markets shrugged off worries including Japan’s disasters and rallied again.

Shares will be priced in the range of 19-24 euros ($27-$34), Norma said in a statement released late on Friday night.

The offering will consist of up to 7.9 million new shares from a capital increase and 9.3 million shares from the holding of the selling shareholders. In addition, around 2.6 million shares are available to cover a possible greenshoe option.

Norma, which chiefly develops and manufactures plastic and metal-based components and systems in the field of connecting technology, said that it is targeting gross proceeds from the sale of approximately 150 million euros, with the free float after the initial public offering (IPO) amounting to between 50-60 million euros.

Based on this, the target issue volume including the greenshoe option could reach around 430 million euros.

“The company plans to use these proceeds to partially repay its liabilities and strengthen its financial flexibility to support further organic and acquisitive growth,” Norma said in the statement.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this month, Chief Financial Officer Othmar Belker said that Norma was eyeing a number of acquisition targets all over the world.

“We don’t have any concrete targets yet, but we have a long list of potential candidates,” he said.

Norma’s main shareholder, British private equity group 3i Group Plc (III.L: Quote, Profile, Research), plans to place around 45 percent of its 73 percent stake in Norma, assuming full exercise of the greenshoe.

After Japan’s earthquake and nuclear crisis, a slew of IPOs which looked set to happen before Easter were delayed as investors turned jittery, but a number of candidates remain upbeat.

On Thursday, Chinese luxury women’s handbag retailer Powerland reiterated plans to float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on April 11.

Commerzbank (CBKG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will act as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the Norma IPO. Berenberg and Macquarie will act as co-lead managers.

The prescription period is due to begin on March 28 and end on April 7.

Investor 3i’s Norma sets eyes German IPO on April 8