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Industrial IPOs: Luxfer, GSE

NEW YORK (TheStreet -- Traders like Dennis Gartman and TheStreet's Research Director Stephanie Link have been talking up the industrial sector lately and coincidentally there are two industrial companies going public this week.

Luxfer Holdings (LSFR), based in Salford England, is seeking to raise $150.5 million through the sale of 10.8 million shares for between $13 and $15 each.

The company's Elektron division focuses on specialty materials based on metals like magnesium and rare earth minerals. The business makes flame-resistant magnesium alloys and other products with applications for the automobile, aerospace and defense industries. Luxfer also makes gas cylinders used by a variety of industries, mainly health care.

IPO Desktop President Francis Gaskins thinks Luxfer is "attractively priced" and believes it's "relatively safe" for investors to consider the IPO.

"If LSFR breaks the IPO price then it might be a good trade in a week or so," said Gaskins.

Sales rose 27% to $385 million for the nine months ended in September 2011 vs. a total of $302 million in the same period a year earlier. The contribution of the two businesses is just about even.

The negative for Luxfer is that it faces competition from cheaper Chinese products and an excess capacity in the U.S. medical cylinder market. The proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt and purchase an insurance plan for the company's pension.

The other industrial company set to debut this week is Houston-based GSE Holding (GSE). GSE, which makes synthetic linings for hillsides used in solid waste and oil containment, is seeking to raise $126 million through the sale of 9 million shares priced between $13 and $15 each.

IPO Desktop's Gaskins advises avoiding GSE, which has been owned by private equity firm CHS Capital since 2004.

"It is a business with a low gross margin business and high interest payments," he said. Gaskins also believes the business may not be able to be profitable on a sustained basis and seems overvalued.

GSE reported a $1.9 million profit for the first nine months of 2011, but prior to that it had been a loss maker since 2008.

On a positive note, GSE has worked with some big mining names like Barrick Gold (ABX) and Newmont Mining (NEM) as well as solid waste behemoth Waste Management (WM).

GSE plans to use the IPO's proceeds to repay debt and untangle itself from CHS Capital. GSE is selling 53% of the company in a deal, a percentage that is unusually high and could be a sign of future weakness.

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--Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Debra Borchardt.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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