PQ Group Quietly Enters the Market in IPO

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PQ Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PQG) quietly entered the market on Friday as one of the largest initial public offerings this quarter. Although PQ priced its IPO at $17.50 per share, the stock entered the market slightly below this mark and has been consistently holding at this level.

The firm priced its 29.0 million shares at $17.50, with an overallotment option for an additional 4.35 million shares. This was well below the expected price range of $21 to $23 per share. At this price, the entire offering is valued up to $583.63 million.

The underwriters for the offering are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Jefferies, Deutsche Bank, Keybanc Capital Markets, Evercore ISI and Nomura.

PQ is a leading global provider of catalysts, specialty materials and chemicals and services that enable environmental improvements, enhance consumer products and increase personal safety.

Its products and solutions help companies produce vehicles with improved fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions. Its materials are critical ingredients in consumer products that make teeth brighter, skin softer and wounds heal faster. PQ produces highly engineered materials that make highways and airports safer for drivers and pilots.

In 2016, PQ served over 4,000 customers globally across many end uses and, as of the end of June 2017, operated out of 72 manufacturing facilities strategically located across six continents. Management believes the firm is a leader in each of its product groups, holding what it estimates to be a number one or number two supply share position for products that generated more than 90% of its 2016 pro forma sales.

In the filing the company described its finances as follows:

For the year ended December 31, 2016, we generated sales of $1,064.2 million and pro forma sales of $1,403.0 million, a net loss of $(79.7) million and a pro forma net loss of $(57.7) million, and pro forma Adjusted EBITDA of $420.8 million, which represented a pro forma Adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 30%.

PQ has a few very specific intentions for the net proceeds from this offering:

  • To redeem $525.0 million in aggregate principal amount of PQ Corporation’s Floating Rate Senior Unsecured Notes due 2022, including accrued and unpaid interest and applicable redemption premiums.
  • To repay approximately $33.1 million of borrowings under PQ Corporation’s asset-based lending facility.

The remaining net proceeds, if any, will be used for general corporate purposes.

Shares of PQ were last seen at $17.23, with a range of $16.50 to $17.30 on the day. Also as of 11:00 Eastern, over 7 million shares have moved on the day.