CVC-backed Samsonite files $1.5bn IPO(2)

Samsonite, purchased for $1.7bn at the height of the credit bubble in June 2008, will list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

CVC Capital Partners-backed luggage company Samsonite has filed an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, valuing the company at up to $1.5 billion, according to a New York Times report. Samsonite has priced its offering at HK$13.50 (€1.20; $1.74) to HK$17.50 per share, the report said.

CVC bought the business for $1.7 billion at the height of the credit bubble in June 2008. The following year, the firm had to inject $175 million to retain its control of Samsonite, reducing the company’s debt burden from around $800 million to $240 million. CVC is reportedly selling less than half of its stake in the business, with 47.7 percent of Samsonite likely to be sold in the offering.
CVC acquired Samsonite in a take-private transaction, which represented an exit for the business’ largest shareholders – Ares Management, Bain Capital, and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The exit reportedly netted the consortium, which took over the business as it struggled to cope with a downturn in air travel following the September 11th terror attacks, more than five times their money invested.

Earlier this month, CVC bought a 15 percent stake in the Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) for PHP4.96 billion. CVC's investment in RCBC follows the International Finance Corporation's own PHP2.1 billion commitment to the bank made in March this year.