CVC and RBS offload another $289 million of Samsonite shares

The club-type deal was prompted by reverse inquiries and is the third sell-down by the two pre-IPO shareholders since Samsonite’s listing in 2011.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and Royal Bank of Scotland have sold another batch of shares in Samsonite International, the world’s biggest travel luggage company, raising a combined HK$2.24 billion ($289 million).

The sale was conducted over the weekend, about four months after their previous sell-down in mid-September when the two pre-IPO shareholders raised a total of $287 million at a 3.3% discount.

Like the September transaction, the latest deal was done on the back of reverse inquiries and it was completed as a club-type deal. The process began on Saturday evening and it was wrapped up by Sunday evening, a source said yesterday.

The reverse inquiries came from both existing and new shareholders and the deal was significantly oversubscribed, the source noted. It attracted long-only and hedge fund investors, and there were some good quality large long-only orders.

CVC and RBS sold a combined 138.3 million shares at HK$16.20 each, which represented a 4.9% discount to Friday’s close of HK$17.04. The deal wasn’t marketed either at a fixed price or with a specific price range, but HK$16.20 was where the anchors and the biggest orders came in, the source said.

The deal size accounted for about 10% of the company. About 65% of the shares were sold by CVC, while the remaining 35% came from RBS.

The transaction will reduce the combined stake of the two firms to about 15.1% of the company, from 24.9% before the deal, the source said. Of the 24.9%, CVC owned 16.2% and RBS 8.7%, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange’s website.

Their remaining shares will be locked up for 90 days.

Samsonite’s share price fell 3.3% yesterday to HK$16.48, which is above the placement price. That compares with the Hang Seng Index, which finished up 0.6%.

The stock, which was listed in Hong Kong in June 2011, is currently 13.7% above September’s sell-down price of HK$14.50, which was equal to the IPO price.

CVC bought Samsonite in July 2007 for $1.7 billion. RBS provided financing for the deal and when Samsonite had financial difficulties in 2009 the UK bank ended up swapping some of its debt into a minority equity stake. Both firms sold about 40% of their respective holdings in Samsonite’s $1.25 billion IPO in 2011.

They also teamed up in April of 2012 to sell 18% of their stake, or 8% of the company, through a block trade that raised $216 million. That deal was priced at HK$14.90, which represented a 4.7% discount to the latest close. It was arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Goldman Sachs was the sole bookrunner both for the latest transaction and the September sell-down.

With the IPO pipeline looking rather thin before Chinese New Year, placements have been in the spotlight since the start of the year in Asia. Last week saw a number of such deals, including two in Southeast Asia: Philippine conglomerate GT Capital and its controlling shareholder sold $350 million worth of shares, while a Temasek-controlled entity raised $685 million from its third sell-down in Thailand’s Shin Corp.

One of the notable deals in Hong Kong was Carlyle’s $796 million sale of its remaining shares in China Pacific Insurance.

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