Hands’ Terra Firma set for £1bn flotation of Infinis

Michael Bow
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TERRA Firma, the private equity firm controlled by seasoned investor Guy Hands, is today expected to lay out plans to float wind power firm Infinis on the London stock exchange, valuing its equity stake at £1bn.

Infinis, the country’s biggest independent generator of renewable power, was snapped up by Hands’ group 10 years ago using cash raised from its second ever buyout fund.

The intention to float, due to be announced to the markets this morning, is part of a so-called dual track sale process the company is pursuing to get the best price for the business.

Barclays is acting as adviser on the initial public offering (IPO), with rival banking giant Deutsche Bank leading a push to find a trade buyer or private equity investors through an M&A sale.

This morning’s announcement is also expected to name Liberum Capital and Dutch boutique investment bank Kempen & Co among the advisers for the flotation with Slaughter and May and Ashurst as legal advisers.

No price has been set for the IPO, with advisers set to meet with institutional investors to gauge interest in the offering before setting a price range next month.

Terra Firm declined to comment.

The company, which has about £500m of debt, is expected to have an equity value of about £1bn, bringing the total value of the company to £1.5bn.

Like most private equity backers exiting companies through a float, Terra Firma is expected to sell down its stake in several tranches.

Hands’ move to float Infinis comes hot on the heels of the summer float of German residential landlord Deutsche Annington. Terra Firma offloaded part of the company in July with an initial public offering on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Shares have risen 20 per cent since the IPO.

However, a mooted exit of its stake in cinema chain Odeon & UCI through a float was not pursued after the company ran into some trading difficulties in its Spanish market.