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Italy’s Fri-El to use IPO proceeds for capacity growth

Italy’s Fri-El to use IPO proceeds for capacity growth

MILAN (Thomson Financial) – Fri-El SpA, the Italian renewable energy producer, said it will raise up to 461 mln eur from its initial public offering and will use the funds to meet its target of increasing installed capacity from 232.5 megawatts (MW) to 1,995 MW by 2012.

‘We intend to invest 2.4 bln eur from here to 2011, mainly in wind, and expand our installed capacity which is the main driver of our revenue base,’ Fri-El CEO Josef Gostner said at an IPO presentation.
The company said it will invest 1.3 bln eur in wind power development until 2010; 773 mln in biomass projects until 2011; 232 mln in biogas and 60 mln in biodiesel, Gostner said.

By 2012, the company aims to have installed wind capacity of 1,196 MW, biomass capacity of 724 MW, and biogas capacity of 75 MW, he said.
In its IPO, Fri-El will offer retail and institutional investors a maximum of 133.5 mln new shares, equal to 25 pct of the company’s capital.

The price range is 2.30-3.45 eur per share, valuing the company at 0.921-1.382 bln eur.

Fri-El’s current shareholders, the Gostner family and their financial holdings, will also sell up to 20.025 mln existing shares to service a greenshoe option given to global coordinators UniCredit and Merrill Lynch.

If the greenshoe option is exercised the market float will be 28.8 pct.
The retail offer will run from Nov 12-16 while bookbuilding for institutional investors will run from Nov 5-16.

Fri-El expects to debut, as a blue chip stock, on the Milan stock market on Nov 21.

In 2006, Fri-El posted sales of 23.1 mln eur while in the first nine months of the current year sales were 28.4 mln.
Asked whether the sales growth rate of around 100 pct in 2006, versus 2005, could continue, Gostner said it is are asonable’ to expect this trend will continue.

Gostner said the company will not offer a dividend in the short term because it will focus on investment and growth.

stephen.jewkes@thomson.com

sj/wj

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