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Belgian soccer club Bruges set for end-March stock market listing

BRUSSELS, March 17 (Reuters) - Belgian soccer club Bruges (Club Brugge NV) is set to list on Euronext Brussels at the end of March in an initial public offering valuing the national champions at up to 258 million euros ($307 million).

The club issued a prospectus on Wednesday setting a price range of 17.50-22.50 euros per share in an offer set to run until March 25.

Subject to a potential 25% increase in shares offered and an over-allotment of a further 15%, the club would sell 4.67 million shares, equivalent to some 40.7% of all issued shares.

Bruges’ listing comes as Belgian clubs voted to support the possibility of a joint league with their neighbours in the Netherlands.

The maximum valuation of up to 258 million euros would put Bruges just behind Dutch rivals Ajax <AJAX.AS, valued on Tuesday at 292 million euros, but ahead of the 140 million euros that French side Olympique Lyonnais is worth.

The reigning Belgian champions, Bruges are also the run-away leaders of the national league this season, with a 19 point advantage over second-placed Antwerp. They have won 16 titles, second only to Anderlecht in Belgium.

The club plans to build a new 40,000-seat stadium, but will not be issuing new shares as part of the flotation. Its present stadium’s capacity is 28,415.

The prospectus says the offering is designed to raise the club’s profile as a commercially run business, give fans the chance to be part owners and to provide better access to capital markets in future.

A minimum of 10% allocated to retail investors.

Grizzly Sports NV, a vehicle that will be owned by major shareholders Bart Verhaeghe, Vincent Mannaert, Jan Boone and Peter Vanhecke, is the selling shareholder in the transaction. They have a combined holding of 94.34%.

Joint global coordinators of the deal are Credit Suisse Securities, JP Morgan and Berenberg, Gossler & Co and, with Belgium-based Belfius Bank, as joint bookrunners. ($1 = 0.8410 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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