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Apax-Backed Promethean World Launches IPO

LONDON (Reuters) – UK education technology group Promethean World and its owners are aiming to raise up to 224 million pounds ($341 million) by selling shares in its initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The company, which supplies interactive white boards and associated software, on Monday started bookbuilding for the IPO with a price range of 180 pence to 225 pence per share, the sources said.

The north England-based company is selling new shares worth about 114 million pounds, while private equity firm Apax Partners [APAX.UL], which owns a 25 percent stake in Promethean, is also selling secondary shares worth 72 million pounds to 110 million pounds in the offer, the sources said.

The deal values the company at 360 million to 448 million pounds, close to a 400 million to 500 million pounds indicated during the pre-marketing.

Promethean World will use the IPO proceeds to repay shareholders’ loans and be in a modest net cash position after the flotation.

The firm, founded in 1996 by Tony Cann, whose family trust still owns 50 percent, posted a 33 percent rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to 33.9 million pounds in 2009.

Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Cazenove (JPM.N) are the bookrunners and are testing investor interest at a price to earnings valuation of about 20 times earnings. ($1=.6569 Pound) (Reporting by Daisy Ku; editing by Steve Slaterand Hans Peters)