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By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian veterinary products maker Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações SA's initial public offering priced at the top of the suggested price range on Friday, as investor demand for the nation's first IPO of the year came in stronger than expected.
The Cravinhos, Brazil-based company and some shareholders sold a total 15.48 million shares at a price of 27 reais each, valuing the deal at 418 million reais ($171.6 million), according to information on securities industry watchdog CVM's website.
Ouro Fino sought a price for the shares between 26 reais and 27 reais each.
Investors, led by a global private-equity firm and two domestic funds, placed bids equal to more than five times the number of shares available, two sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters earlier in the day. The shares will begin trading next Tuesday under the symbol "OFSA3."
The transaction was completed between the first and second rounds of Brazil's most unpredictable presidential election in 25 years, and comes after three companies including JBS SA , the world's largest meatpacker, put off their own IPOs as political uncertainty weighed down on market confidence.
Currently JBS's JBS Foods SA, cellphone tower operator T4U Holding Brasil SA and machinery and heavy vehicle rental company Ouro Verde Locação e Serviço SA have placed a request with the CVM to list their shares.
Yet pension funds and asset management firms remain wary as, election-related risks set aside, concerns over reduced global liquidity and an economic recession extending into next year are discouraging them from buying shares in companies with little track record or earnings visibility.
The last time a Brazilian company listed shares on the São Paulo Stock Exchange was in December, when travel agency CVC Brasil Operadora de Turismo SA raised 540 million reais. This year, IPOs in Brazil are likely to have their worst year in at least a decade.
Ouro Fino sold a total 3.942 million common shares in a primary offering, although it was not possible to immediately confirm whether part of that corresponded to the additional allotment the company could place based on demand conditions.
A number of shareholders including BNDES Participações SA and controlling partners Norival Bonamichi and Jardel Massari tendered 11.54 million shares in a secondary offering.
In a primary offering, a company raises money from an IPO for its own use. A secondary offering allows shareholders to cash out from their investment in the company being listed.
Ouro Fino hired the investment banking units of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA and Banco do Brasil SA to manage the deal.
$1 = 2.44 Brazilian reais Additional reporting by Aluísio Alves in São Paulo; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Gunna Dickson