Packaging maker Ardagh raises $300m in IPO

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Ardagh Group, a one-time small Irish glass bottle maker that has grown in the past two decades into one of the world’s largest metal and glass packaging makers, has raised just over $300m in its initial public offering.

Ardagh, led by the Irish tycoon Paul Coulson, priced its IPO at $19 per share, towards the upper end of its $17-to-$20 range, giving the group a market capitalisation of about $4.4bn.

Ardagh sold new shares to investors representing a stake of about 7 per cent. Mr Coulson owns about a third of the group. His stake is valued in the IPO at $1.5bn, making him one of Ireland’s richest people.

Trading in Ardagh shares in expected to begin on the NYSE on Wednesday. The IPO was managed by a consortium of banks led by Citi, with Davy and Wells Fargo as co-managers.

Ardagh was founded in Dublin in 1932 as the Irish Glass Bottle Co, and has expanded through a series of acquisitions since Mr Coulson acquired an initial stake in the company in 1998. Since then it acquired glass bottle operations from Owens-Illinois of the US and the UK’s Rexam. Last year it bought BevCan to enter the beverage-can market.

The group had revenue of €7.6bn last year and EBITDA of €1.3bn. Proceeds of the IPO are to be used to reduce the company’s net debt of about €7bn.

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