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Lenzing to Raise $1.06 Billion in Sale of New, Old Shares

Lenzing AG, the Austrian maker of textile fibers, plans to raise as much as 741 million euros ($1.06 billion) in a sale of new and existing shares.

Shareholders will be offered one new share for every 31 held, the company said in a statement yesterday. The company is selling 825,000 new shares, and set its share price at 92 euros to 108 euros.

Additionally, Lenzing’s majority shareholder B&C Industrieholding GmbH will sell as many as 6 million shares, or 23.5 percent of shares issued, with 548,621 shares of that being an overallotment option if demand is high enough. B&C, which currently owns 90.5 percent, “will sell such amount of existing shares to ensure a minimum free float of approximately 33 percent and a maximum free float of 35 percent,” it said.

The fiber maker, based in the town of the same name, had initially planned to sell the shares by late April, two people with knowledge of the sale said in February. That plan was scrapped in March because of market conditions, two other people said.

Lenzing rose 0.9 percent to 100 euros at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Vienna, increasing the shares’ gain this year to 15 percent.

ATX Index

The share sale will raise Lenzing’s “free float” to more than 700 million euros, qualifying it for membership on the Vienna bourse’s main ATX index, a goal identified by Chief Executive Officer Peter Untersperger. The deal will help fund 1.5 billion-euros of new plants and expansion in Austria, China, India and Indonesia over four years, Lenzing said in the sale prospectus.

Investors can order the stock from tomorrow through June 15, with new shares starting to trade in Vienna on June 17. Shares not subscribed will be placed in a public offering in Austria and a private placement to institutional investors. Rights to purchase the new shares won’t be traded.

Oberbank AG, a regional lender which holds a stake just under 3 percent in Lenzing, will fully participate in the rights offer, Frank Helmkamp, a spokesman for the company, said by phone from Linz today.

B&C and Lenzing hired Morgan Stanley as sole global coordinator for the sale, according to the prospectus. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and UniCredit are acting as joint bookrunners, and Raiffeisen Centrobank and Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberoesterreich as co-lead managers. The underwriting commissions and estimated expenses will be about 6.4 million euros.

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