HCA revealed in a securities filing last month that the offering originally was slated for 124 million shares with a price range of $27 to $30. The increase in the number of shares and the pricing at the top of the range both signal that the high demand that many analysts expected for the issue has materialized.
The company itself is offering 87.7 million of the shares and grossed $2.63 billion from the sale. The three private-equity firms and the Frist family that took HCA private in 2006 are offering 38.5 million shares, worth gross proceeds of $1.15 billion. The investment banks underwriting the offering have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 18.9 million shares, or nearly $568 million in gross proceeds, from the selling shareholders.
The company reiterated that it expects to use its proceeds to pay down debt. Initially, that will take the form of paying down amounts owed on two revolving credit facilities, HCA said, although those facilities might later be tapped to pay down other debt, such as its term loans due in 2012 and 2013.