Publisher Houghton Mifflin announces IPO at $14-$16/share

Reuters

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Textbook publisher Houghton MifflinHarcourt Co announced an initial public offering of 18.25million shares at $14-$16 per share, raising as much as $292million for the selling shareholders including John Paulson'shedge fund.

Houghton, which also publishes the "Curious George" and"Lord of the Rings" book series, emerged from bankruptcy in 2012when bondholders of some $3 billion in debt received equity inthe company.

All the shares are being offered by selling stockholders. ()

Paulson & Co holds about 27 percent stake in Houghton,making it the largest shareholder. The fund's share will drop to23 percent if the underwriters exercise their full option.

Houghton's debt troubles started in 2006 when EducationMedia & Publishing Group Ltd borrowed heavily to buy it for$1.75 billion from Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. TheDublin-based group later merged Houghton with Harcourt, which itbought from Reed Elsevier Plc for about $4 billion.

In February 2010, Houghton Mifflin recapitalized its balancesheet with $650 million of new equity.

The Boston-based company received 88 percent revenue fromits educational business in 2012.

Reuters reported in July that the publisher was close tofiling for an IPO.

The company, which has been publishing books since 1832,intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol"HMHC."

The company's loss narrowed to $46.53 million for the ninemonths ended Sept. 30, from $52.93 million a year earlier.Revenue rose about 8 percent to $1.07 billion.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, andWells Fargo Securities are among the major underwriters for theIPO, the company said in a filing.

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