April 16, 2018 / 7:20 AM / a year ago

South Africa's glass maker Consol IPO may raise up to $415 mln

People walk near the reception at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa December 10, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African glass bottle maker Consol aims to raise up to $415 million via an initial public offering (IPO), it said on Monday, returning the firm to public markets after more than a decade in the hands of private equity groups

The flotation, pencilled in for April 30, comes amid growing confidence among investors and business leaders that President Cyril Ramaphosa will follow through on promises to revive the economy and bring policy certainty.

Consol, bought out for 6.1 billion rand in 2007 by private equity investors led by Brait, said it would sell 761 million shares, or 34.2 percent stake, at between 1.50 rand and 6.50 rand each, raising between 1.1 billion rand and 5 billion rand ($415 million) and values the company at as much as 14.3 billion rand.

Including the greenshoe option, or an over-allotment, of as much as 114.1 million shares to underwriters, the IPO could raise as much as 5.7 billion rand, Consol said.

Brait’s stock has been hammered by concerns about its biggest shareholder Christo Wiese and the performance of its British retailer New Look. The South African tycoon is tallying up losses from a share price crash in Steinhoff, a retailer in the throes of an accounting scandal.

Consol, which counts blue chips such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Diageo and Heineken among its customers, said the listing would allow shareholders to cash in on their 11-year investment in the company and raise money to pay down debt, which includes 4.7 billion rand in loans from shareholders.

The company, which also operates in Kenya and Nigeria, reported a 1.6 billion rand ($134 million) in core earnings in the year to June 30, 2017 on revenue of 6.1 billion rand.

Goldman Sachs and BofA Merrill Lynch are working on the listing, along with South African banks RMB and Standard Bank, who will market the deal to domestic investors.

($1 = 12.0729 rand)

Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Edmund Blair and Louise Heavens

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