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MEXICO CITY, March 18 (Reuters) - Mexican homebuilder Javer is preparing to sell shares in an initial public offering, the first for the sector since the country's three leading builders filed for bankruptcy protection last year.
Javer hopes to raise between 3 billion and 3.5 billion pesos ($198 million to $232 million), not including an over-allotment option, according to a preliminary filing with Mexico's securities regulator.
The listing could take place in the week of April 20, according to the filing, with Credit Suisse and BTG Pactual as the lead bookrunners.
Three of Mexico's biggest homebuilders, Geo, Homex and Urbi, are trying to restructure under bankruptcy protection.
All three collapsed under heavy debt burden and slumping sales of their cheap, single-unit homes in developments often far from city centers.
Javer is now Mexico's biggest homebuilder, selling 18,525 homes last year, mainly in Queretaro, Nuevo Leon and Jalisco, which are among the country's wealthiest states. Unlike its once-larger rivals, Javer sells a mix of types of homes and does not just focus on low-income housing.
The company plans to use proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt as well as for general corporate purposes, according to a separate filing with Mexico's stock exchange. ($1 = 15.1005 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)