Ziggo BV (ZIGGO), the Dutch cable company owned by Warburg Pincus LLC and Cinven Ltd., is offering stock for at least a 7.5 percent discount to peers in the biggest week for European initial public offerings in eight months.
Ziggo increased today the number of shares it will offer tomorrow at 16.5 euros to 18.5 euros each, with proceeds of as much as 804 million euros ($1.1 billion) going to the private- equity owners and other shareholders, according to offering documents. The top end of the range would give the company an estimated enterprise value of about 7.4 times projected 2012 earnings, said people with knowledge of the forecast. That makes it cheaper than Germany’s Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (KD8) at 8.8 times projected earnings and Belgian cable operator Telenet Group Holding NV at 8 times. Warburg and Cinven are looking to take advantage of Ziggo’s above-average profitability, and the Utrecht, Netherlands-based company plans to pay 220 million euros in dividends this year to entice new investors. The IPO will probably be priced at the high end of the range because of demand for the stock, said the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.
“There is a lot of appetite for cable assets,” said Joris Franssen, a senior portfolio manager at Kempen Capital Management in Amsterdam. “That and the fact that they are returning money to shareholders through a dividend makes it quite attractive to a lot of investors.”
The owners are selling shares after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rebounded 27 percent from its two-year low in September (SXXP). Switzerland’s DKSH Holding Ltd., which helps companies expand in Asia, is also planning an IPO about the size of Ziggo’s and is scheduled to start trading tomorrow, a day before the cable operator.
Ziggo’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 835 million euros last year, or 56.5 percent of sales, the company said. That ratio, a gauge of profitability known as Ebitda margin, is 43.6 percent at Kabel Deutschland and 52.5 percent at Telenet, controlled by Liberty Global Inc. (LBTYA), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
If priced at the top end of the range, Ziggo will have a market capitalization of about 3.7 billion euros before exercising an overallotment option, according to a sales document. Ziggo’s owners are offering 43 million shares, with an option to add a further 6.6 million depending on demand. That amounts to about 25 percent of issued shares after the IPO, counting the additional shares.
Ziggo will get no proceeds from the offering. Warburg and Cinven, seeking to return cash to investors, will reduce their stakes in Ziggo to about 29 percent each from 36 percent if the over-allotment option is fully exercised, according to the IPO prospectus. Some executives and employees will also sell shares in the offering.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) are managing the IPO, alongside Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and UBS AG. (UBSN) The banks received orders for all stock on offer the first day the books opened, according to the sales document. The shares are scheduled to start trading tomorrow.
Martijn Jonker, a Ziggo spokesman, declined to comment, as did spokeswomen for Cinven and Warburg.
Ziggo is the largest cable-television operator in the Netherlands with an estimated network coverage of 56 percent of the country’s easily connectable homes at the end of last year, according to its prospectus. It offers TV, digital pay TV, high- speed broadband Internet and telephone services. Its main strategy is to offer packages of services at a lower price than customers would pay for the individual service subscriptions.
The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Bernard Dijkhuizen, was created by combining three cable operators that Warburg and Cinven acquired between 2005 and 2007, according to the website of Warburg, which drove the consolidation. Ziggo competes with Royal KPN NV and Liberty Global’s UPC in the Dutch market.
Buyout firms are reviving IPO plans following this year’s equity rally after slumping markets delayed sales last year. Cinven, the British buyout firm that raised more than 3 billion euros for its latest fund, is also planning to restart an IPO for the Italian aerospace company Avio SpA by June, two people with knowledge of the plan said this month.
Shareholders of DKSH, the largest privately owned company in Switzerland, are seeking to raise as much as 903 million Swiss francs ($986 million) in the IPO. The company, which helps firms such as Nestle SA (NESN) expand in Asia, is vying with Ziggo to conduct Europe’s largest IPO since Spain’s Bankia SA raised $4.4 billion in July.
The lenders handling DKSH’s IPO -- UBS and Deutsche Bank, alongside Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Berenberg Bank Schweiz AG - - also received orders for all shares being sold on the first day, said two people with knowledge of the transaction.
“Companies now have a fantastic window with markets holding up and financial risks diminishing in Europe,” said Matthias Fankhauser, a fund manager at Clariden Leu in Zurich, which oversees about $100 billion in assets. “If the situation continues, we may see a very strong year of IPOs.”