Medica France pulls float

The French private equity-backed retirement home operator has abandoned its plans for an IPO, but is revisiting its dual-track process and may turn to a trade sale.

Medica France, a retirement home operator backed by Bridgepoint and AlpInvest, two private equity firms, has pulled its flotation scheduled for tomorrow, making it the latest casualty of turbulent stock markets.

A spokesman for Bridgepoint said given current market conditions Medica and its shareholders had decided to halt the initial public offering. He declined to comment on the company’s next steps.

An adviser close to the float said the company, for which Bridgepoint paid €330m in October 2003, had been pursuing a dual track process and would revisit plans for a trade sale during a two-week standstill. He said: “Medica is a good company and there is a plan B. But we may still decide to float later in the year.”

Lazard-Ixis and Société Générale were global co-ordinators on the offering, and also bookrunners with Citigroup. JP Morgan Cazenove was co-lead manager.

Medica was expected to raise about €600 million  ($753 million) when it floated on Euronext’s Paris exchange. It is the latest casualty of volatile markets this month.

The Blackstone Group has abandoned two floats in the last month: Cineworld cinemas and Southern Cross nursing homes have both delayed listings.

A financial sponsor coverage banker at  a US bank said: “IPOs will come back as long as the markets don’t keep going down. The forecast is for the market to go up for the rest of the year. So people are comfortable waiting for the markets to stabilize.”