Friday 15 December 2017

Coulson's Ardagh moves toward €2bn float

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Legendary financier Paul 'the Cooler' Coulson could be on the cusp of his greatest-ever deal as his Ardagh Group rumbles toward a US stock market flotation that would value the firm at close to €2bn.

"Ardagh is committed to raising equity as soon as practicable following the closing of the transaction and intends, subject to market conditions, to seek a public listing," the company said.

Last week Ardagh tapped up investors to raise $920m (€757m) on a US roadshow.

Market sources indicated that Ardagh was offered up to $7bn as demand for its bonds was eight times over-subscribed. The huge demand for the company's debt also significantly lowered the interest rate paid on its debt.

Ardagh, which is now a global titan in glass bottling and tin canning, may raise money on the stock markets through an IPO after the summer. The company shelved plans to float last year as the stock markets bobbled around wildly.

The company is on track to generate earnings of over $700m this year, which could see the company valued at between €2bn to €2.5bn once debt is stripped out. This would value Coulson and his family's stake at over to €700m, with Niall Wall owning a 10 per cent stake worth more than €200m.

Last week, Ardagh stuffed more lead into its pencil with the €721m buyout of rival firm Anchor Glass Container Corporation. The deal was Ardagh's third major buyout of the year, which has seen it gobble up €170m Leone Industries and €85m firm Boxal. In 2010, the company spent €1.7bn to buy tin-can maker Impress.

Sunday Indo Business

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