Beacon bookbuild

Beacon Group Energy Investment Fund II sold a 15.21% stake in Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG), a French oil services group, after a three-day accelerated bookbuild.

The deal closed more than twice covered and allowed the private equity seller to offload its remaining 1.777m shares in the company. The stock was priced at €63, a 0.2% discount to the close of €63.10 on March 14, but a 2.3% discount to the last close before the bookbuild was launched. The deal raised €112m, with Lehman Brothers as the sole bookrunner.

The company had announced results on the previous Wednesday, and then conducted roadshows. Bankers said the deal had attracted good quality accounts and that they were happy with the level of coverage. The free-float increased from 59.5% to 74.7% as a result of the deal.

There had been some speculation of a possible postponement of the deal, given the sharp sell-off in the oil services sector around the time of pricing. Petroleum Geo-Services in Norway lost 4.8% and Veritas DGC of the US fell 1%.

Both stocks had fallen sharply for stock-specific reasons, but the damage to the sector was done and bankers said that investors were more sensitive than they might otherwise have been. CGG lost 2.5% on March 14 alone, but by the close the following Thursday was back at €65.