Carlyle’s Applus prices Madrid IPO – Reuters

Reuters – Spanish testing company Applus is set to raise 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in its Madrid stock market debut, after two sources familiar with the deal said on Thursday the firm had set the price range at 13.25-16.25 euros a share.

Another source familiar with the matter said the range gave the company, which is owned by U.S. private equity fund Carlyle , a value of 2.4-2.8 billion euros including debt.

Applus is seeking to float 53-63 percent of its shares, one of the sources said, adding the offer would consist of 300 million euros of new shares sold by the company and 800 million euros of shares sold by existing investors.

Carlyle and Applus were not immediately available for comment.

Applus is following on the heels of travel firm eDreams Odigeo as the second corporate to float on the Madrid stock exchange this year, after a three-year listing drought brought on by a prolonged recession.

The IPO performances of the two companies are widely seen as barometers for the health of Spain’s equity markets as the country drags itself out of its economic slump.

eDreams Odigeo has gained 6.6 percent since it floated in April, and was trading at 10.9 euros a share at 0747 GMT.

The Applus flotation is being led by UBS and Morgan Stanley, with JP Morgan and Citi joint bookrunners.

($1 = 0.7231 Euros) (Editing by Larry King and Mark Potter)