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HCA announces pricing of initial public offering

In a return to the public domain, HCA Holdings has announced an initial public offering of 126.2 million shares of common stock, which began trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange at $30 per share.

The shares will be traded under the ticker symbol “HCA.” The offering is expected to close on March 15.

HCA is offering 87,719,300 shares and stockholders are offering 38,480,700 shares. The underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 18,930,000 shares from stockholders.

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The nation’s largest non-governmental hospital operator announced its intention to return to the public domain last spring. Since its founding in 1968, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company has bounced back and forth between private and public.

[See related stories: HCA plans to go public again; HCA reorganizes]

This latest foray into the public domain will allow HCA to use net proceeds from the stock sale to repay existing debt and for other general purposes, the company stated in a press release.

“HCA intends to use the net proceeds to temporarily reduce amounts under its asset-based revolving credit facility and its senior secured revolving credit facility,” said the statement.

Proceeds of common stock shares sold by stockholders will not go to HCA.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi and J.P. Morgan are acting as representatives of the multiple underwriters in the offering.