Onex-owned SIG Combibloc picks banks for Zurich IPO: Reuters

Swiss packaging maker SIG Combibloc is moving ahead with preparations for an autumn stock market listing in Zurich that could value it at about 4.5 billion euros (US$5.5 billion), two people close to the matter said.

Its Canadian private equity owner Onex Corp has hired Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Bank of America as global coordinators for the listing, the sources said.

The banks declined to comment while Onex was not immediately available for comment.

SIG makes cartons for beverages and food and competes with larger rival Tetra Pak, a unit of Tetra Laval. It is expected to report earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of about 450 million euros this year.

New shares worth up to 1 billion euros may be offered in the flotation, one of the people said, adding that on top of that existing shares worth up to 500 million euros may be sold. The bulk of the proceeds will be used to bring down debt levels from a current 5.5 times EBITDA to about 3.5 times, the person said.

Ahead of the listing, Onex will also sound out potential buyers for the company it bought in 2015 from New Zealand billionaire Graeme Hart in a deal valued at 3.75 billion euros (US$4.62 billion), the person added.

A listing may value SIG Combibloc at about 9 to 10 times its expected core earnings, including debt, in line with rivals including Bery, Ball, Silgan, Bemis or Polyone, the sources said.

In an increasingly crowded European equity-raising market, Switzerland is seeing a flurry of stock market listings, including transport company Ceva Logistics and drugmaker Polyphor announced on Monday.

SIG had been listed in Switzerland before as part of the Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG) conglomerate that made everything from juice cartons to passenger trains to weaponry. Its businesses were gradually sold off as the company narrowed its to focus to packaging.

Rothschild is acting as an adviser on the IPO, Reuters reported in March.

Update: The 2015 acquisition of SIG Combibloc was made by Onex Partners IV and co-investors and included an equity commitment of about US$1.2 billion.

Toronto-based Onex wrapped up its fifth flagship fundOnex Partners V, last November, raising US$7.15 billion.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jane Merriman)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

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