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Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie seeks IPO at valuation of up to 2 bln pounds -FT

(Reuters) – Energy analytics group Wood Mackenzie is preparing an initial public offering that could give it a valuation of up to 2 billion pounds ($3.09 billion), the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Wood Mackenzie, which is owned by U.S. private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, hired Lazard in the past weeks to advise on its proposed listing, the FT reported.

The paper reported on Saturday that “Wood Mac” had received competing takeover bids from U.S. data companies Verisk Analytics and McGraw Hill Financial that valued the Edinburgh-based firm at 1.6 billion pounds.

However, its owners Hellman & Friedman – who are looking to sell their 63 percent stake – will go ahead with an initial public offering unless the bidders offer 1.8 billion pounds or higher, the minimum that they expect the IPO to fetch, the paper said.

Wood Mac, which produces research on the oil, gas, metals and power markets, was acquired from Charterhouse in 2012 at a valuation of 1.1 billion pounds. Charterhouse still retains a 13 percent stake in the company.

Wood Mackenzie and Hellman & Friedman could not be immediately reached for comments outside regular business hours.