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Blackstone-backed Pinnacle Foods surges 13% in NYSE debut

28 Mar 2013

Birds Eye USBuyout giant Blackstone-backed frozen food business Pinnacle Foods had a successful debut on the New York Stock Exchange today, seeing its shares surge nearly 13 per cent.

Shares in the company, which distributes branded food products in North America and owns the Birds Eye and Duncan Hines brands, were trading at $22.48 two hours after the opening bell.

Pinnacle floated 29 million shares at a price of $20 per share worth a total $580m.

Earlier this month it was reported that Pinnacle raised the size of its IPO offering nearly six fold to take advantage of the ongoing surge in stock markets.

Blackstone bought Pinnacle for $2.16bn in cash in 2007 and added Birds Eye Foods two years later for $1.3bn. About $3bn of those deals was debt, a prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

It said the company had managed to reduce its debt pile by $350m thanks to its healthy cash flow with sales reaching $2.5bn in 2012.

The prospectus also revealed that Pinnacle planned to use the IPO proceeds to redeem $465m of its 9.25 per cent senior notes due in April 2015.

The remainder going towards paying off $86m of the $243.3m tranche B non-extended term loans it had outstanding at the start of the year.

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