Lacklustre float for Ripplewood, Oak Hill-backed company

Equipment rental company RSC Holdings, purchased last year by Ripplewood and Oak Hill, raised $458 million in an initial public offering; the 20.3 million share offering raised less than expected, and the company’s stock has been trading below the IPO’s $22 per share price.

RSC Holdings, a Ripplewood Holdings and Oak Hill Capital Partners portfolio company, raised $458 million (€340 million) in an initial public offering Tuesday, and has since been listed under the ticker “RRR” on the New York Stock Exchange. RCS is North America’s second-largest equipment rental company.

The two private equity firms sold more than 8 million RSC shares in the 20.3 million share offering, which was priced at $22 per share – below the expected range of $23 to $25 per share. The IPO’s underwriters, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers, have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 3.1 million shares.

On Wednesday, its debut trading day on the NYSE, RSC shares opened at $21.70 and had dropped more than 5 percent to $20.24 by late afternoon.

Ripplewood and Oak Hill purchased an 85 percent stake in the company in a $3.8 billion transaction in November 2006.
The RSC acquisition was Ripplewood’s first major US deal.

Equipment rental companies have long been targets of private equity firms. Last year, DLJ spin-out Diamond Castle Holdings purchased NES Rentals for $850 million, while Goldman Sachs JBWere made 10x its investment on Hirepool with its NZ$172 sale to Australian private equity firm Next Capital.