On the first trading day of Freescale Semiconductor Holdings, its shares rose as investors expected that the demand for automotive chips will help it reduce its debt that compelled underwriters to cut its initial share-sale price.
Trading under the ticker FSL on the New York Stock Exchange, its shares increased 95 cents, or 5.3%, to $18.95 at 12:17 p.m. Based in Austin, Tex., Freescale was only able to raise $783 million in its initial public offering.
This is about 25% lower than what they initially sought. In an interview, CEO Richard Beyer said that all of Freescale’s investors are “ultimately going to do well." He said that Freescale had to reduce its offer price since the "the external market conditions are sketchy."
He admitted though that the company would have wanted a higher price. It was in February that Freescale filed the IPO to sell shares. Back then, it said that proceeds will be used to help shrink its debt, which totaled to about $7.5 billion.
In 2006, Freescale borrowed billions when it was taken private by Blackstone Group LP, TPG Capital, Carlyle Group and Permira Advisers LLP in a $17.6 billion transaction. To break even, Freescale has to have annual sales of about $4 billion.
Beyer said that Freescale’s revenue may drop from its present level of about $4.8 billion and still be able to manage debt and invest in its business. Freescale is the largest supplier of chips to the U.S. automobile industry.