Bakkavor, the supplier of ready meals to UK supermarkets, plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in early November.
The company, whose customers include Marks & Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS), Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) and Waitrose, aims to raise about £100mln to pay down debt and fund investment in the business.
The group will float about 25% of its capital on the LSE in a deal that could value it at up to £1.5bn.
Major shareholders to sell down stakes
Icelandic founders Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson will sell down some of their 59% stake as part of the initial public offering (IPO).
US hedge fund Baupost, which owns the remaining 41%, will also sell shares.
Both parties will remain “significant shareholders” after the IPO.
Bakkavor said it accounts for 30% of the UK market for freshly prepared meals and is the UK’s biggest maker of hummus.
The company, which employs 19,000 people and has 26 factories in the UK, reported pre-tax profits of £63.1mln last year and revenues of £1.76bn.
Agust Gudmundsson, who will remain chief executive, said: “This IPO will enable us to continue to invest to ensure we create value for all investors and stakeholders, and bring more great tasting food to our customers.”
The Gudmundsson siblings were forced into a debt-for-equity swap in 2010 that reduced their stake after the business was hit by the financial crisis in 2008. They teamed up with Baupost last year to take back control.
Glenveagh Properties begins trading on LSE
Irish housebuilder Glenveagh Properties has also launched an IPO and expects to raise €550mln. Its shares started trading on the Dublin and London Stock Exchange this morning.
The IPO marks Ireland’s second-largest since the financial crisis amid a housing slump in the nation.
Since the property crash a decade ago, Ireland has seen a sharp rise in house prices and rents on the back of a recovery in the construction sector.