UPDATE 1-Bain considers IPO of France’s FCI-source

* Goldman Sachs hired to handle IPO – source

* IPO to take advantage of surging connector stock prices

(Adds background, analyst comment)

By Nina Sovich and Julien Ponthus

PARIS, Oct 25 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. private equity firm Bain
Capital is “seriously considering” a stock market listing of
FCI, a Versailles-based manufacturer of electrical connectors, a
source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The move comes after Bain tested the water for a potential
sale and decided instead to list the company’s stock and take
advantage of soaring share prices among electronic connector
companies, several people said.

Goldman Sachs has been hired to handle the initial public
offering (IPO), the source said. A second source with knowledge
of the matter said the IPO would not happen until next year.

Goldman Sachs and Bain declined to comment.

Bain bought FCI, which designs and manufactures connectors
found in laptops, cars and televisions, in 2005 from French
nuclear reactor maker Areva (CEPFi.PA: ). The sale gave FCI an
enterprise value of 1.06 billion euros ($1.49 billion).

However, in July 2009, Bain sold FCI subsidiary FCI Americas
to Hubbell Inc for $360 million in cash.

With $1.31 billion in 2009 sales, FCI is the world’s
fifth-biggest electronic connector maker, according to data from
Illinois-based Bishop & Associates, ranking behind market leader
Tyco Electronics Ltd (TEL.N: ), Tyco’s domestic U.S. rivals
Amphenol Corp (APH.N: ) and Molex Inc (MOLX.O: ), and Japan’s JST.

Since late August, Molex’s shares have risen 28 percent,
while Amphenol’s have risen 26 percent. Tyco’s are flat.

One analyst who follows the electrical connectors industry
said that stronger stock performance in some connectors
businesses, due to optimism that the economy would not go
through a double-dip recession, could spur Bain to go through
with the IPO.

“FCI has some exposure to autos, which is a cyclical
business, but it also has good exposure to military contracts,”
said the analyst, noting that FCI was a good performer in the
sector but not as strong as rival Amphenol.

He added that the company was worth between seven and eight
times earnings before interest tax and depreciation. FCI does
not release earnings information.

A global rebound in the electronics industry has driven a 35
percent leap in connector sales in the year to August, according
to Bishop & Associates data.

But Bishop forecasts full-year sales growth will slow to
23.6 percent, for a total $42.5 billion, and says 2011 sales
will rise only “slightly” as world economic growth slows.
($1=.7124 Euro)
(Additional reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by James Regan)

UPDATE 1-Bain considers IPO of France’s FCI-source