GDF Suez's GTT to Sell Shares to Fund LNG-Shipping Growth

Gaztransport & Technigaz SA, the engineering company owned by France’s GDF Suez SA (GSZ) and Total SA (FP), plans to sell shares in 2014 through an initial public offering.

Gaztransport & Technigaz, which makes liners for liquefied natural gas tankers, needs funds to finance an expected increase in orders, the company known as GTT said in a website statement. The size of the offering is yet to be determined.

GTT’s membrane technology is used by shipbuilders Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Demand for LNG transport and storage has grown as Asian countries use more of the fuel to replace shuttered nuclear generation.

GTT, based in Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuses outside Paris, is 40 percent-owned by GDF Suez while Total and Hellman & Friedman LLC each have 30 percent. The company was formed in 1994 through the merger of Gaztransport and SN Technigaz, its website shows.

Total and Hellman will sell part of their stakes in the IPO, GTT Chief Executive Officer Philippe Berterottiere said today at a press briefing in Paris. Hellman invested in the company in 2008 when it was valued at 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion), he said, without estimating its current value.

GTT reported net income of 86.6 million euros for the first nine months of 2013 on sales of 156.9 million euros, according to the IPO document on its website. Net income was 39.6 million euros for the whole of last year on sales of 89.5 million euros.

The company had a margin on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 54 percent last year, which expanded to 67 percent in the first nine months of 2013, according to a company presentation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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