Golden Gate tests IPO window

Golden Gate portfolio company US Silica is expecting to raise around $243.5m for its public float, pricing the company between $16 and $18 per share.

Golden Gate Capital portfolio company US Silica has set a price range on its initial public offering, expecting $16 to $18 per share, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The silica producer will offer around 11.8 million shares of common stock after its securities are approved by the SEC.

The IPO is expected to raise up to around $243.5 million. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies will underwrite the acquisition.

US Silica produces industrial minerals for the glass, oil and gas, chemicals, foundry and building products industries, according to its website. The company will be listed as “SLCA” on the New York Stock Exchange when the offering is completed.

Golden Gate acquired US Silica from Harbinger Capital Partners in 2008 for $337 million. The San Francisco-based private equity firm committed $200 million of equity and mezzanine financing to the deal, which included $102 million in senior debt financing arranged by BNP Paribas and a $35 million revolving credit facility from Wachovia.

The firm could not be reached for comment at press time.

The private equity-backed IPO market stalled in the second half of 2011 after Standard & Poor’s downgraded US Treasury Bonds on 6 August. Market turmoil in the ensuing months led to a waning of investor appetite, with global private equity IPO volume falling dramatically through October.

The market appears to be on its way to a recovery, however. According to Dealogic, global private equity backed IPO volume in November and December totaled more than $3.8 billion across 20 offerings, compared to $1.5 billion across 16 IPOs from August to October.

In October, Golden Gate closed on its $3.5 billion opportunities fund after only 60 days of fundraising. The fund has an open-ended structure, which allows the firm to replenish its pool of committed capital through different rounds of marketing, according to reports. The fund raised its first $5.5 billion pool in 2008.