Price range set for Yell IPO

Hicks Muse and Apax have set the price range for the UK directories business listing in July.

Yell, the UK telephone directories business sold by BT last year in Europe’s largest leveraged buyout, has unveiled the price range for its summer flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

The company is launching a global offer with an indicative price range of between 270p and 345p a share, which will raise £1.1bn and value the firm at between £1.8bn and £2.3bn. The proceeds of the listing will be used to pay down just over half of Yell’s debt, which currently stands at £2.5bn.

The float is scheduled for early July, just a year on from Apax and Hicks Muse’s acquisition of the directories business, which was acquired for £2.14bn with a £1.45bn debt facility arranged by Merrill Lynch and CIBC.

Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the joint global co-ordinators and bookrunners for the offer.

Of the £1.1bn being raised, the company is selling £750m of new shares and existing shareholders are disposing of £300m worth of stock. Following flotation, Hicks Muse and Apax will between them own 44 per cent of the firm’s shares.

William Hill, which is reportedly more than five times subscribed, is expected to be priced this evening at the top end of the indicative 190p-240p price range.