Valemus Launches its $1bn Float

Nick GreinerGerman construction giant Bilfinger Berger is reported to have initiated with the largest initial public offering since Myer's lackluster float, in an aim to pave way for the new outfit competing more closely with rival Leighton Holdings.

Bilfinger's newly renamed local operations, Valemus, lodged a prospectus yesterday putting its 555 million shares on sale at an indicative price of between $2.20 and $2.50 in a view to raise between $1.22 billion and $1.39bn.

In addition, it is under plans to sell 100 % into the offer to lessen its exposure to the construction sector and will also use over $1.13bn in cash from the IPO to expand its services business via takeovers.

Currently, Valemus possess nearly $7.6bn of work, houses construction and engineering businesses Abigroup and Baulderstone along with services unit Conneq, and is making its attempts to fasten its growth on Australia's economic, population and resources boom.

For 2010, Valemus is auguring to record $4.6bn in revenue and $220m in earnings excluding interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, and on these metrics, the IPO has been valued at 10.5 times to 12 times, a discount to Leighton's price earnings multiple of about 14.5 times.

Chairman and former NSW Premier, Nick Greiner posted that recent worries around the world in the past six weeks had nudged back the IPO and affected its valuation.