November 4, 2011 / 1:57 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Rentech Nitrogen has a quiet market debut

(Rewrites throughout, adds details, share closing price)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Fertilizer company Rentech Nitrogen Partners’ units opened marginally below their offering price of $20 per unit on Friday, overshadowed by daily deals website Groupon Inc’s blockbuster first day of trading.

Rentech Nitrogen, that raised $300 million in proceeds, was formed by Rentech Inc to own, operate and expand its nitrogen fertilizer business.

The company had priced its initial public offering of 15 million common units at $20 per unit, while it had planned to price its offering between $19 and $21 per unit.

Upon the closing of the offering, the public will own about two-fifths of the outstanding common units of Rentech Nitrogen, while Rentech Inc will own the rest.

Underwriters on the IPO were led by Morgan Stanley & Co and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC.

Groupon’s shares soared about 56 percent above the IPO price of $20 per share in early trade. The offering, one of the largest in recent years, may be a barometer of investor appetite for IPOs.

The U.S. IPO market saw a lull period for about two months, with a huge backlog of companies that filed to go public earlier this year, and only in recent weeks has been showing signs of recovery.

Oil and gas developer Enduro Royalty Trust , which began trading publicly on Thursday had a poor show on day one, after pricing its IPO below the expected range.

Rentech Nitrogen shares closed at $19.85 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Eileen Anupa Soreng in Bangalore;Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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