South Korea's Doosan Bobcat Inc., the firm that controls U.S. construction machinery maker Bobcat, applied for preliminary exchange approval for an initial public offering (IPO) planned for this year, the Korea Exchange said on Monday.
Analysts say Doosan Bobcat could have an estimated market valuation of about $3.48 billion, higher than the $2.29 billion it was valued at last year according to the terms of a private shares issuance.
Doosan Infracore Co. and Doosan Engine collectively own a majority 78.4 percent stake in Doosan Bobcat, which operates 31 subsidiaries in 20 countries. Doosan Bobcat is a leading player in the compact construction machinery sector in the United States and Europe.
Doosan Infracore said Doosan Bobcat chose South Korea as listing venue for its lower listing costs, ease of attracting investment and because Doosan Bobcat is based in Korea. Doosan Infracore didn't provide details about its fundraising plan through the IPO and the exact market shares in the two major markets.
The IPO plan is part of Doosan Group's efforts to improve its debt status. Last year, Doosan Bobcat posted a net profit of $129 million.
In 2007, Doosan Infracore acquired Bobcat and other construction equipment units from North Carolina-based Ingersol Rand PLC for $4.9 billion. JP Morgan and Korea Investment & Securities Co. are the lead managers for the IPO.
Source: Reuters; Bloomberg