Doughty Hanson to seek NY listing of Dunlop Standard

The UK private equity firm is hoping to see its aircraft parts portfolio company go public with book building starting today.

Dunlop Standard Aerospace Group, 90 per cent owned by buyout firm Doughty Hanson, is looking to list on the New York Stock Exchange with a target valuation of $875m (£550m) according to the Daily Telegraph today.

As with any mooted listing on either side of the Atlantic at present, the progress of the book building which is being led by Lehman Brothers, will be watched closely with many predicting that it will be hard work to generate sufficient demand.

'Aerospace is not exactly a buoyant sector at the moment,' commented one analyst, 'and although there's a lot of aircraft out there requiring parts and servicing, their owners are not going to be rushing to refit or upgrade at present. That will colour people's view of the stock.'

Doughty Hanson is reported to be looking to halve its stake in the business, which it bought from UK conglomerate BTR in 1998 for $810m (£510m). Although the business derives a third of its revenue from the UK, it is now managed out of Winnipeg in Canada.

Doughty Hanson is presently raising a new buyout fund with the help of the placement agent team at Merrill Lynch, with a target total of E3.5bn. A successful exit from this investment, besides other portfolio companies such as foods manufacturer Rank Hovis McDougall (RHM), could not come at a better time therefore.