March 19, 2010 / 8:24 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Card protection firm CPP raises $228 mln in float

* Offering priced at 235p/share vs range 225-270p

* Values firm at 396 million pounds

* To use net proceeds to reduce debt

(Adds details, CEO comment, shares)

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - CPP Group (CPPG.L), a provider of card and identity theft protection, has raised 150 million pounds ($228 million) in an flotation priced towards the lower end of the range, it said on Friday.

The offer price of 235 pence compares with a range of targeted by CPP of 225 to 270 pence and values the firm at 396 million pounds.

The vast majority of the money raised in the flotation will be going to founder and majority shareholder Hamish Ogston, with just 30 million pounds being used by the company to pay down debt.

CEO Eric Woolley told reporters cutting debt to round 20 million pounds from its current level of just under 50 million gave the group a flexible balance sheet.

“We start off in a healthy shape and will continue in a healthy shape.”

He said the group, which operates in 14 countries around the world and has 1,900 people, saw good opportunities in China, Latin America, Middle east, Taiwan and Indonesia.

He added CPP would look at bolt-on acquisitions but had nothing in mind in the short-term.

CPP’s shares were trading at a mid-price of 247.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 0810 GMT. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Hans Peters) ($1=.6580 Pound)

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