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Travel Firm Bravofly Prices IPO Shares

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Online travel agency Bravofly Rumbo Group priced its initial public share offer at CHF48 Swiss francs a share on Monday, giving the company a market value of CHF698 million francs (USD$794 million).

That is in the top half of its pricing range of CHF40 to CHF52 per share, Bravofly said, adding the IPO was over-subscribed several times on strong demand from both Swiss and international investors.

The group is due to make its market debut on Tuesday.

The operator of websites Bravofly, Rumbo, Volagratis and Jetcost, plans to use the funds to finance acquisitions in the highly fragmented travel market and is looking to expand in Germany, eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

A total of 5.33 million shares in Bravofly, or 36.7 percent of its share capital, were placed in the IPO. Of those, 2.19 million were new shares sold by Bravofly and 3.145 million shares were sold by existing shareholders, including its founders, private equity investors and management.

There is also an over-allotment option of up to 533,250 shares, which would increase the market free float to 38.9 percent of its shares in issue if fully exercised.

Gross proceeds amounted to CHF256 million Swiss francs, of which CHF105 million came from the sale of the new shares.

Rival Spanish online travel agency eDreams Odigeo made a disappointing market debut last week as the shares fell 7 percent, which some saw as broader investor jitters over share offerings from Internet companies.

(Reuters)