July 12, 2017 / 11:47 AM / a month ago

Exclusive: Brazil's VMH seeks Toronto IPO at $4 billion valuation, sources say

TORONTO/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Votorantim Metais Holding SA is looking to raise $750 million in an initial public offering on Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange that would value the Brazilian base metals producer at $4 billion, two people with direct knowledge of the plan said on Wednesday.

São Paulo-based VMH aims to price the secondary, cross-border listing between September and December, said the people. Proceeds will go entirely to parent company Votorantim SA, which needs cash to invest in other business areas, the people said.

After considering both New York and Toronto, VMH picked the Toronto Stock Exchange because of its experience in mining-related IPOs, the people said. If successful, the VHM IPO would be one of the biggest-ever mining stock debuts in Canada.

According to one of the people, VHM has completed a three-stage IPO preparation plan that lasted roughly three years. Both parent Votorantim and VMH hired four international investment banking firms to underwrite the IPO, the people said, declining to name them.

The people spoke under condition of anonymity because the plan remains private. Reuters first reported the plan on April 10.[nL1N1HI0V6]

Both VHM and Votorantim, which is controlled by Brazil's billionaire Ermirio de Moraes family, declined to comment on "market speculation." In a statement, they said "the evaluation of strategic options aims to bring about the best outcome for the group and for shareholders."

An IPO would give VMH access to a wide base of investors betting on a long-term recovery in zinc, copper, lead and silver prices. More than half of all global mining financings last year were raised on Toronto's TSX and TSX Venture exchanges.

EQUITY OFFERINGS

VMH is the latest addition to a long list of Brazilian companies pursuing IPOs in coming months to rebalance their capital structure and pave the way for future expansion.[nL1N1F60K9]

With a presence in Brazil and Peru, where it holds a majority stake in Cia Minera Milpo SA, VMH operates five industrial compounds in Brazil's state of Minas Gerais, and in Cajamarquilla in Peru. VMH also has sales offices in Houston and Luxembourg.

Last year, investments in zinc and byproducts represented 11 percent of Votorantim's capital spending of about $3 billion. Those investments included efforts to extend the working life of the Vazante mine in Brazil for another 10 years.

Proceeds may also come in handy for Votorantim, Brazil's largest diversified industrial group, to grow in energy and other core sectors while cutting debt, which stands now at about 15 billion reais ($4.6 billion).

People told Reuters in April that Morgan Stanley & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp were vying for underwriting spots for VMH's IPO.

Additional reporting by Tatiana Bautzer in São Paulo; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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