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HAL Prepares IPO of Optical Retail Unit in Amsterdam

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- HAL Holding NV, an investment firm based in Curacao and Monaco, said it is preparing an initial public offering of its Dutch optical retail business GrandVision.

HAL plans to sell 20 percent to 25 percent of GrandVision at the earliest by the end of November, according to a statement published today. The company will list shares on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange “depending among other things on conditions in the financial markets,” it said.

HAL hired ABN Amro Bank NV and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to manage the IPO, people familiar with the matter said before today’s statement. The IPO could value the business at about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private.

HAL’s optical retail business had revenue of about 2.8 billion euros in 2013 and operating income of 248 million euros, according to the website of GrandVision. HAL has been active in optical retail since 1996, when it acquired Pearle.

Spokesmen at HAL Holding, GrandVision, ABN and JPMorgan declined to comment on the bank mandates and valuation.

To contact the reporters on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Fred Pals in Amsterdam at fpals@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Fournier

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