el reservations firm Amadeus last night shrugged off a fickle listings market and closed books on a €1.36bn (£1.18bn) initial public offering (IPO) with the sale four times oversubscribed.
The IPO priced at €11 per share, above the midpoint of the price range which was set at €9.2 to €12.2 per share when it was launched on 14 April.
The sale of 119,684,662 of its shares, representing just over a quarter of the company’s share capital, overtakes deals from Germany’s Brenntag and Kabel Deutschland making it the biggest since 2008 and giving a boost to European IPO activity, which has lagged behind the US and Asia.
Amadeus was founded in 1987 by Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and SAS.
The company – which is owned by private equity firms BC Partners and Cinven – charges a fee for every booking made through its systems, used by British Airways, Finnair and Qantas as well as train, cruise and ferry operators.
The company has €3.52bn in outstanding debt it took on when BC Partners and Cinven bought majority stakes in it via a leveraged buyout in 2005. It plans to use the proceeds of the sale of the new shares to pay down debt.
The IPO is being regarded as a barometer for investor appetite after a clutch of high-profile failures earlier this year, including its main rival Travelport along with leisure group and high street retailer New Look. If Amadeus’ listing goes well, the market will be reassured that a recovery in European IPOs is underway.
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are global bookrunners on the offer.