Food services firm Aramark seeks up to $5.3 billion valuation in IPO-Reuters

(Reuters) – Food services provider Aramark Holdings Corp said it expects to price its initial public offering at between $20 and $23 per share, valuing the company at about $5.3 billion.

The offering of 36.3 million shares would raise about $833.8 million at the higher end of the price range.

The company is selling 28 million shares in the offering, while certain stockholders are selling the rest, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Philadelphia-based company provides food, facilities and uniform services to the education, healthcare, sports and leisure industries and operates brands such as WearGuard and Crest.

Aramark was taken private in 2006 for $8.3 billion by chairman Joseph Neubauer and private equity investors including GS Capital Partners, JP Morgan Partners and Warburg Pincus.

Aramark operates under three mains units — Food and Support Services (FSS) North America, FSS International and Uniform. The company is headed by former chief executive of Pepsi Beverages Co, Eric Foss.

Warbug Pincus will remain the company’s largest shareholder even though its stake in the company will fall to about 18.2 percent from 21.5 percent after the offering, if the underwriters option is not exercised.

Private equity firms have been trying to sell or list assets to take advantage of a surging IPO market as a market rally and low interest rates entice investors into stocks.

On Monday, hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Inc, controlled by Blackstone Group LP  said its IPO would raise up to $2.37 billion.

Aramark reported revenue of $13.9 billion and net income of $70 million for fiscal 2013. It had debt of about $5.8 billion as of September 27.

The company intends to list its common stock under the symbol “ARMK” on the New York Stock Exchange. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters to the offering.