CVC seeking to raise US$1bil in IPO

Photo Illustration European Private Equity Firm CVC Capital Partners

LONDON: CVC Capital Partners is set to revive plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in Amsterdam and may seek to raise between about €1bil (US$1.1bil) and €1.5bil, according to people familiar with the matter, potentially paving the way for other private-equity firms to go public.

The firm could offer a stake of 10% to 15% in the share sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public yet.

CVC is targeting a valuation of around €13bil (US$to €15bil, the people said.

Deliberations around the timing of the intention to float are ongoing, and details could change, the person said. A representative for CVC declined to comment.

CVC’s intention to seek more than €1bil was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

CVC, one of Europe’s best-known buyout firms, manages about €186bil of assets and owns stakes in companies including Swiss watchmaker Breitling and Lipton Teas and Infusions, according to its website.

CVC has been working on a listing since at least 2022, with previous attempts buffeted by volatile markets.

This time around, a rebound in European IPOs is adding to the chances of a successful stock market debut.

Still, the recovery after an 18-month slowdown has been uneven.

Galderma Group AG, a skin-care company backed by CVC’s private-equity rival EQT AB, has soared more than 17% above its offer price, and Spanish beauty and fragrance group Puig Brands SA said on April 8 it would press ahead with an IPO.

CVC-backed German perfume retailer Douglas AG suffered a more disappointing stock market debut, however, having slipped about 25% since its March listing. And Spain’s Berge y Compania on April 5 scrapped plans to float its Astara unit.

A listing of CVC, which was valued at about US$15bil when it sold a minority stake to Blue Owl Capital Inc in 2021, would test investor sentiment towards alternative asset managers at a key moment for the industry.

Private-equity firms have seen the path to exiting investments heavily constrained in recent years, with inflation, high interest rates and elevated volatility weighing on dealmaking.

A slowdown in returns has also made it harder for private-equity firms to raise new funds.

Still, CVC has had more success than its peers in this regard. It raised €26bil last year for the world’s biggest-ever buyout fund and has been diversifying its business into new areas, including infrastructure and so-called secondaries, or existing portfolios of private equity fund holdings.

A listing would give it fresh acquisition currency in the form of shares and may also encourage other private asset managers to go public.

General Atlantic, the investment firm whose bets have included Facebook Inc and Airbnb Inc, confidentially filed for an IPO, while private credit firm HPS Investment Partners did the same more than a year ago, Bloomberg News has reported.

Stock market gains for listed European peers such as Bridgepoint Group Plc, Partners Group Holding AG and EQT also boost sentiment around a CVC listing. — Bloomberg

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