3i selling down

The IPO of Petrofac, a UK oil and gas facilities company, was formally launched last week, with the announcement of the price range and the start of roadshows.

The company announced on Wednesday September 21 that the IPO would comprise just under 153m secondary shares plus a 10% greenshoe. Petrofac is owned by management and venture capital firm 3i.

At the top of the 180p–220p price range, the base deal would be worth £336.6m and the market cap would be £793m.

Bankers said that the range put the company on a 2006 earnings multiple of 15.2–19.4, a discount to Wood Group on 19.9x and significantly below Technip, which trades at around 28x.

The transaction has been pre-marketing since the start of the month, and the initial response has been good, according to those close to the deal. Reflecting that response, CEO Ayman Asfari said last week that the company was “very pleased with the institutional interest that has already been shown in our IPO and remains very confident that our listing will be a success”.

Roadshows were originally scheduled to have got under way around September 16, but approval of the prospectus came later than expected. The IPO is being led by CSFB and Lehman Brothers. Bookbuilding will run until October 3, with conditional dealings to begin the following day.