Semiconductor Giant Freescale to Raise $1 Billion in IPO

by: Renaissance Capital IPO Research

Freescale Semiconductor Holdings (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, which combines complementary semiconductor devices and software for use in controllers, networking and sensors. The Austin, Texas,-based company filed with the SEC on Monday to raise $1 billion by offering 43.5 million shares at a price range of $22 to $24. The deal puts Freescale among five private equity-backed IPO deals that have raised at least $1 billion in proceeds this year, along with HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) ($3.8 billion), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) ($2.9 billion), Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN) ($1.6 billion) and Arcos Dorados (NYSE:ARCO) ($7.2 billion).

Freescale's products and services are used in automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, wireless infrastructure, smart energy, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and mobile devices. It booked $1.1 billion in adjusted EBITDA on $4.5 billion in sales in 2010, a 27% increase on $3.5 billion in revenues in 2009. The company was divested from Motorola in 2003 and then acquired by an investor consortium including Blackstone (NYSE:BX), Carlyle Group and TPG Capital in 2006 for $17.6 billion, making it the largest private technology buyout to date.

The last major semiconductor LBO to go public was NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI). NXP went public in August 2010, offering 34 million shares at a price of $14, well below the initial range of $18 to $21. Despite initial doubts about the levered balance sheet and performance of comparable private equity-backed deals, NXP currently trades 120% above its listed price partly due to strong sales in its mobile, lighting and automobile end markets.

Other notable private equity-backed companies planning to come to market include Toys "R" Us (TOYS), Party City (NYSE:PRTY) and Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN). Of the 59 IPOs completed this year, 14 have been private equity-backed. These deals raised over $12 billion (64% of total U.S. IPO proceeds) and earned investors an average return of 13%.

Freescale plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FSL. Citi (NYSE:C) and Deutsche Bank Securities (NYSE:DB) are the lead underwriters on the deal, which is expected to price during the week of May 23rd.

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