Report: Legrand planning €7bn IPO

The Wendel Investissement and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts-owned electrical retailer is expected to carry out one of France’s largest flotations of recent times.

French electrical equipment retailer Legrand, a portfolio company of French investment firm Wendel Investissement and US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, is planning a €7 billion ($8.3 billion) April IPO, according to the Financial Times.

Today’s report said that discussions regarding the firm’s capital structure and the amount to be raised are still ongoing, but a market valuation for Legrand of €7 billion including debt is expected.

Wendel Investissement and KKR were not immediately available for comment.
Last September, Wendel CEO Jean-Bernard Lafonta told PEO that the French private equity firm and KKR were eyeing an April flotation for Legrand. Lafonta did not disclose the expected price at the time, but did say that he expected to “multiply our money by two and a half times or more” as a result of the flotation.
Wendel and KKR acquired equal stakes of 37.5 percent in Legrand in late 2002 in a €5.1 billion deal, Europe’s largest buyout at that point. Parent company Schneider Electric was forced to sell Legrand at the time due to antitrust concerns.
Limoges, France-headquartered Legrand manufactures products and systems for electrical installations and information networks in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The company has operations in over 60 countries and employs approximately 26,000 people.
Last week, Legrand reported an 11 percent rise in sales for 2005, taking its operating profits for the year to €405.7 million. The company has also made six acquisitions in the last several months, including two Chinese companies.

Last November, power giant EDF floated on the French stock exchange for just under €7 billion.