Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co., the educational book publisher backed by hedge-fund manager John Paulson, raised $219 million in its U.S. initial public offering, pricing its shares below the marketed range.
Existing stockholders sold 18.3 million shares for $12 apiece, according to a company statement today, after offering them for $14 to $16. The stock will start trading tomorrow, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol HMHC. At the offering price, the Boston-based company has a market value of $1.68 billion.
Houghton Mifflin emerged from bankruptcy (282996Q:US) in June of last year, issuing all of its outstanding common stock to lenders in exchange for canceling its secured debt. These shareholders, including Paulson & Co., Avenue Capital Group and BlackRock Inc. (BLK:US), sold a 13 percent stake and will receive all the proceeds from the IPO.
The publisher, whose trade segment was established in 1832, is the leading provider in the U.S. of kingergarten through 12th-grade educational content by market share, according to the company’s prospectus. The education segment, its largest business, accounted for 88 percent of sales last year. Houghton’s trade segment includes authors and titles such as J.R.R. Tolkien, “Curious George” and “Life of Pi.”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley managed the offering.
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