BC Partners-backed Com Hem prices debut near upper range: Reuters

Cable operator Com Hem priced its shares at 58 crowns each on Tuesday in Sweden’s largest initial public offering (IPO) for 14 years, valuing the company at 11.5 billion crowns ($1.73 billion).

Com Hem’s market debut is the fifth IPO on the main list of the Stockholm stock exchange this year after a two-and-a-half-year drought that ended last November.

The company sold 5.67 billion crowns worth of new shares near the upper end of a 55-60 crowns per share price range which was narrowed from initial guidance of 44-62 crowns on Friday, sources said.

“The offering was over-subscribed several times and attracted strong interest among Swedish and international institutional investors as well as Swedish retail investors,” the company said.

There is also an over-allotment option, meaning Com Hem may raise an additional 567 million crowns.

The firm has said it will have net debt of around 9.5 billion crowns after the offering. This means the 58 crowns per share price implies an enterprise value of around 8.9 times 2015 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as forecast by Nordea analysts in a research note.

That is higher than the 8.2 multiple for U.S. cable group Liberty Global, but in line with Belgium’s Telenet , which trades at 9.2 times 2015 forecast EBITDA, according to Thomson Reuters data.

France’s Numericable, whose shares are up more than 80 percent this year, trades at 12.9 times expected 2015 earnings whereas Dutch cable firm Ziggo, which Liberty Global is buying, trades at 10.4

JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Nordea were joint global coordinators in the IPO. Rothschild was financial adviser to the company and its owners.

Private equity firm BC Partners, which bought Com Hem in 2011, will have a 50 percent stake in the firm assuming the over-allotment option is not exercised. ($1 = 6.6448 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; Editing by Erica Billingham)