Carlyle Group's AZ Electronic to raise $700 million in London IPO

AZ Electronic Materials, one of the world's leading suppliers of advanced technology electronic materials, and a company partly owned by the world's second-largest private equity firm Carlyle Group, said that it plans to raise $700 million through an initial public offering (IPO) in London to reduce its debt and fund the company's growth plans.

Carlyle Group, along with another private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners collectively hold 83.5 per cent of AZ's outstanding shares, with each having an equal share, and the balance is held by the company's management. 

AZ believes that the proposed IPO will enhance its profile and status with existing and potential customers, and strengthen its ability to attract and retain the best talent, the company said in a statement.

AZ intends to use approximately $400 million of the issue proceeds to repay part of its existing debt, and for general corporate purposes.

Luxembourg-based AZ is specialised in high-quality, high-purity chemical materials, and products used in the manufacture of semiconductor and flat panel display industries, and photolithographic printing. The products include anti-reflective coatings, photo-resists, high-purity solvents, adhesion promoters etc, and silicon technology products.

The company's customer list includes leading global integrated circuit (IC) and flat panel manufacturers such as Samsung, Toshiba, Hynix, TSMC, AUO, and Chi-Mei Innolux. AZ holds the top two positions in the high-valued added product categories that it serves, according to 2009 sales data.