Wednesday 20 September 2017

Packaging giant Ardagh prices IPO at $19 a share

Ardagh Chairman Paul Coulson
Ardagh Chairman Paul Coulson
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Global packaging giant Ardagh Group has priced shares in its initial public offer (IPO) at $19 each, towards the upper end of previous guidance.

The IPO of 16.2 million shares will raise $307.8m for the company. An additional greenshoe or overallotment of extra stock that may be exercised by the deal underwriters will take the total to $354m.

Earlier this month, Ardagh said it expected to price the shares at between $17 and $20 each. Shares will go free to trade on the New York Stock Exchange today.

Earlier this year, Ardagh founder and chairman Paul Coulson (inset below) had said he planned to raise about $300m by selling 5pc of shares in the company in what is a small equity raise relative to the size of the business.

Proceeds will go to reduce Ardagh's group debt, which stands at €7.2bn.

Having emerged from the old Irish Glass Bottle Company, Ardagh Group is now a global supplier of glass and metal containers to the food and drinks industry.

Along with his family, Mr Coulson owns about 36pc of Ardagh.

Although small relative to the scale of the business, the stock market float is likely to be increased in the future and will give Ardagh an option of raising capital in the equity markets rather than from bondholders.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan are acting as joint book-running managers for the shares offering. Davy and Wells Fargo are acting as co-managers.

Ardagh reported 2016 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of €1.16bn, up from €934m. Revenue rose to €6.34bn from €5.2bn a year earlier.

Performance was boosted by last year's $3.4bn (€3.2bn) acquisition of assets from rivals Ball Corporation and Rexam.

Irish Independent

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