How Univar Was 'The Other Hot IPO' on Thursday

Most initial public offering investors and watchers might be focused elsewhere on Thursday, but there was actually another very successful IPO as well. This was in Univar Inc. (NYSE: UNVR).

For those who do not know Univar, the company is a chemical distributor and provider of value-added services. Its IPO pricing was for 35 million shares of common stock at $22.00 per share.

The company itself sold 20 million of these shares in the offering, and stockholders sold 15 million shares. Univar confirmed that it would not receive any proceeds from those shares sold by the selling stockholders.

Univar also had a large underwriting group. Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch were listed as the joint book-running managers. Additional underwriters named in the filing were Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse Securities, JPMorgan, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, HSBC, Moelis, Wells Fargo, Lazard, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and William Blair.

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The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 5.25 million shares from certain stockholders. Univar showed that it intends to use the net proceeds of the offering and the proceeds from a concurrent private placement to buy down and retire $650 million of its outstanding subordinated notes due in 2017 and 2018. The remaining funds will be for general corporate purposes.

Going into the offering, entities tied to CVC Capital Partners Advisory owned more than 52.3 million shares, for 52.2% of the ownership, and entities affiliated with CD&R Univar Holdings owned almost 40.6 million shares, a 40.5% stake. Univar’s latest IPO filing said:

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, we held the #1 market position in North America and the #2 market position in Europe. We source chemicals from over 8,000 producers worldwide and provide a comprehensive array of products and services to over 110,000 customer locations in over 150 countries. Our scale and broad geographic reach, combined with our deep product knowledge, end market expertise and our differentiated value-added services, provide us with a distinct competitive advantage and enable us to offer customers a “one-stop shop” for their chemical needs. As a result, we believe we are strategically positioned for growth and to increase our market share.

At midday, some 13.2 million shares had traded after the actual IPO placement, and shares were up 14% at $25.10.

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