Total May Raise $1 Billion From Cryogenics IPO With Hellman

Total SA and private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC will raise as much as 776 million euros ($1 billion) from the initial public offering of Gaztransport & Technigaz SA, a cryogenics company part-owned by GDF Suez SA.

Total Gas & Power Actifs Industriels and H&F will offer 13.5 million current shares in the biggest maker of liners for liquefied natural gas tankers at 41 euros to 50 euros, with an option to sell an extra 15 percent, GTT said in a statement.

After the sale, due to end Feb. 26, the Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse-based company may be 40.4 percent-held by GDF Suez, with Total and H&F each owning about 8.76 percent, down from 30 percent. Trading will begin on Euronext in Paris on Feb. 27.

GTT will issue 76,000 new shares reserved for employees.

Demand for LNG transportation and storage is growing to replace generation by nuclear power stations shuttered by Japan after the Fukushima atomic meltdown. GTT’s technology is used by shipbuilders such as Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.

The Total and H&F offer includes a global private placement and the public sale in France. Morgan Stanley is coordinator for the global offering and joined by Deutsche Bank AG, Lazard and Natixis as lead managers and bookrunners for the sale.

GTT reported net income of 118.7 million euros in 2013 on sales of 217.6 million euros, according to an updated IPO document. That’s an increase from net income of 39.6 million euros for the previous year on sales of 89.5 million euros.

Earnings Margin

GTT sees sales of 223 million euros this year, a net margin of about 50 percent and payout ratio of 80 percent, said Chief Executive Officer Philippe Berterottiere at a presentation today in Paris. Sales in 2015 and 2016 are seen “comparable” to 2013 while the dividend will be at least at the same level, he said.

The margin on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was 66 percent in 2013 compared with 54 percent in 2012, according to the IPO document. The net margin was 55 percent last year and 44 percent in 2012, the document shows.

At the end of last year, GTT had orders for liners for 99 vessels and onshore installations to be delivered through 2017, it shows. The order book swelled from 77 in 2012 and 52 in 2011.

Growth is expected as a U.S. shale-gas boom spurs exports to Japan and South Korea, where demand for the fuel is rising after nuclear plants were closed, according to the CEO.

GTT plans to capture 84 percent to 87 percent of the market for new LNG carriers through 2023. It also sees market expansion in so-called bunkering, or increased use of smaller vessels, as well as expanded use of its membranes in onshore storage equipment, cryogenic pipelines and passenger ferries. H&F bought 30 percent of GTT in 2008 from Saipem SpA for 310 million euros.

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