CVC Capital Partners Preparing IPO of Danish Drugstore Matas

CVC Capital Partners Ltd. is preparing to sell a stake in drugstore chain Matas to the public and may announce the deal this week, according to three people familiar with the talks.

The sale is being arranged by five banks, including Nordea Bank AB and SEB AB, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the offering has yet to be made public. CVC will continue to hold a controlling stake after the sale, one of the people said. The offering would value Matas at about 6 billion kroner ($1 billion), according to one of the people.

A spokesman representing CVC declined to comment. Calls to Matas weren’t immediately answered. CVC bought Matas in February 2007.

Denmark’s benchmark OMXC20 Index has advanced 10 percent this year, compared with an 8.4 percent gain in the STOXX Europe 600 Index.

The Matas offering will be the first new entry to the Copenhagen stock market since 2010, when Zealand Pharma A/S sold shares and French private-equity fund PAI Partners listed ingredients maker Chr. Hansen Holding A/S. Axcel Capital Partners listed Pandora A/S that same year.

ISS A/S, the private-equity owned cleaning firm and facilities manager that is the world’s largest private employer, said in August it plans to list in Copenhagen by 2015. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and EQT Partners AB pulled ISS’s $8.2 billion IPO in 2011, one day after an earthquake and tsunami in Japan sent world stock markets plunging.

Nordea’s top investment banker, Casper von Koskull, said in an interview last week that the bank is “bullish on debt markets” and “much less so on equities and initial public offerings.” There are only a dozen IPO candidates in the region as companies shy from equity markets worldwide, Koskull said.

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