Legrand IPO sparks stampede

Legrand, the French electrical equipment manufacturer, became one of the most successful private equity backed IPOs when it floated on Euronext Paris. The offering was oversubscribed by 30x and the shares were so popular it pushed the price of the company beyond the limits allowed by the stock exchange, forcing trading to be suspended for 15 minutes. The company raised €972m at the IPO, giving it a market capitalisation of €5.4bn, and another €129m has been raised following the exercise of the over-allotment option.

Its private equity owners KKR and Wendel Investissement, who acquired Legrand in a €5bn LBO in 2002, have cut their combined stake from 75% to 60% following the float, along with minority investors WestLB, Montagu Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, who all now own a total of 15%, with management 4%.