London listing values Terra Firma’s Infinis at $1.3 bln — Reuters

Private equity-backed renewable energy generator Infinis Energy priced its London stock market listing at the bottom of its offer range on Friday, valuing the company at 780 million pounds ($1.3 billion).

Strong equity markets this year have revived European initial public offerings (IPOs) after years of drought due to volatility caused by the financial crisis, with the amount raised by European companies as of Nov. 14 up 166 percent on the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

While activity is beginning to slow ahead of the Christmas break, with bankers saying anyone planning to float before then should kick off the month-long process in the next few days, next year is expected to continue being busy.

Infinis, which operates 147 power generating plants across the UK, said its shares had been sold at 260 pence each, the low end of its original 260p to 310p range. Its shares opened flat on their debut, and were trading around that level at 0930 GMT.

Majority owner Terra Firma raised gross proceeds of 234 million pounds from reducing its stake in the company to 69 percent in the offering, which did not include any new shares. The amount it receives could increase to 269.1 million pounds if an overallotment option, whereby the size of the sale can be increased by 15 percent if there is strong demand, is exercised.

The private equity group, best known for its purchase of music group EMI, which it later lost to Citigroup after defaulting on its loans, invested 122 million euros in Infinis 2003, according to its website.

Terra Firma, run by dealmaker Guy Hands, also floated German residential real estate company Deutsche Annington in July, succeeding on a second attempt after lowering its ambitions.

Individual retail investors will receive the first 998.40 pounds worth of shares they applied for, Infinis said, while those who put in orders for more than that will receive 55 percent of the extra they asked for, up to 10,749 shares.

Those working on the deal said retail investors were attracted by the company’s dividend yield, which is expected to be between around 6 percent and 7 percent for the first full financial year after its flotation.

Barclays, Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets acted as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on the sale. The banks will receive a fee of 1.5 percent of the offer size, as well as a possible extra discretionary fee of 1.5 percent.