The maker of Ski-Doo snowmobiles is launching an initial public offering.

BRP Inc. says it is planning an offering of subordinate voting shares in the Quebec-based maker of snowmobiles, personal watercraft and all-terrain vehicles.

The company said it believes the outlook for the industry is positive due to the improving economic environment, growth in new product lines and growth in international markets.

"Things are reshaping after the crisis. We think people will want to renew with new technology and new vehicles, what not," said Pierre Pichette, vice-president of communications and public affairs for BRP.

In addition to Ski-Doo, BRP also makes Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and boats, Can-Am all-terrain vehicles and Evinrude outboard engines.

Current owners to retain 'significant influence'

BRP would not disclose how many shares it planned to sell or how much they would cost but said that information would be available in the coming weeks.

BRP says it will also issue multiple voting shares to its current owners, who will continue to have significant influence over the company.

The business was spun off from Bombardier Inc. in 2003 when it was sold to members of the Bombardier and Beaudoin families, U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital and the Caisse de depot for $960 million.

The company is currently owned by a subsidiary of Bain Capital, the Beaudier group and the Caisse. Bain owns half the equity, the Beaudier group has a 35 per cent stake and the Caisse has 15 per cent.

Beaudier Inc. is a family-owned company controlled by Laurent Beaudoin, who is a former CEO of Bombardier Inc. and a son-in-law of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, the Quebec inventor who founded the company.

BRP says the timing of the IPO is to help the company pay down a $146-million US term loan that matures June 2013 and a $510-million term loan maturing in June 2016.

"We want to reduce our long-term debt," said Pichette.

Plans to reduce debt, finance expansion

The prospectus, which was obtained through DisclosureNet.com, also reveals that the company paid $376 million in special distributions on April 13 and plans to pay an additional $155 million in dividends to its current shareholders prior to closing the IPO.

It expects to spend about $140 million on capital projects in the current financial year, primarily to tool up for new products.

BRP said it does not anticipate paying any dividends on its shares after the offering.

"The company currently intends to use its earnings to finance the expansion of its business and to reduce indebtedness. Any future determination to pay dividends on the shares will be at the discretion of the board of directors," the company said.

At the end of its financial year on Jan. 31, BRP had $542.4 million of cash including $444.8 million of net cash flows from its operating activities.

The company earned $2.9 billion in revenue and a profit of $121 million in the financial year ended Jan. 31. That compared with a revenue of $2.65 billion and a profit of $83.5 million in the financial year ended Jan. 31, 2012.

Based in Valcourt, Que., BRP has approximately 6,800 employees around the world.