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Automatic shelf registration statement of securities of well-known seasoned issuers

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No. 333-

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM S-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

VWR Corporation

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Radnor Corporate Center

Building One, Suite 200

100 Matsonford Road

Radnor, Pennsylvania 19087

(610) 386-1700

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrants principal executive offices)

George Van Kula

Senior Vice President, Human Resources, General Counsel and Secretary

Radnor Corporate Center

Building One, Suite 200

100 Matsonford Road

Radnor, Pennsylvania 19087

(610) 386-1700

(Name, address, including zip code and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

Copies of all communications, including communications sent to agent for service, should be sent to:

Dennis M. Myers, P.C.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

300 North LaSalle

Chicago, Illinois 60654

(312) 862-2000

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time on or after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box. ¨

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box. x

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. x

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (Check one):

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

P R O S P E C T U S

VWR Corporation

Common Stock

The selling stockholder may offer and sell from time to time shares of our common stock covered by this prospectus. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholder.

We will provide specific terms of any offering, including the price to the public of the common stock, in supplements to this prospectus. The selling stockholder may sell the common stock covered by this prospectus on a continuous or delayed basis directly, through agents, dealers or underwriters as designated from time to time, or through a combination of these methods. For additional information on the methods of sale, you should refer to the section entitled Plan of Distribution. The selling stockholder reserves the sole right to accept, and together with any agents, dealers and underwriters, reserve the right to reject, in whole or in part, any proposed purchase of common stock. If any agents, dealers or underwriters are involved in the sale of any common stock, the applicable prospectus supplement will set forth any applicable commissions or discounts. The net proceeds to the selling stockholder from the sale of common stock will also be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. The prospectus supplement will also contain more specific information about the offering. This prospectus may not be used to sell common stock unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

Our registration of the common stock covered by this prospectus does not mean that the selling stockholder will offer or sell any shares.

Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol VWR. On November 9, 2015, the last sale of our common stock as reported on NASDAQ was $26.70 per share.

Investing in our common stock involves risks that are described in the Risk Factors section beginning on page 3 of this prospectus.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is November 10, 2015.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

i

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, utilizing a shelf registration process. Under this shelf registration process, the selling stockholder may sell common stock in one or more offerings. Each time our common stock is offered under this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering.

This prospectus does not contain all of the information included in the registration statement. For a more complete understanding of any offering of our common stock pursuant to this prospectus, you should refer to the registration statement, including its exhibits. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should read both this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement together with additional information under the heading Where You Can Find More Information. To the extent there are inconsistencies between any prospectus supplement, this prospectus and any documents incorporated by reference, the document with the most recent date will control.

You should rely only on information contained in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus and any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information different from that contained in, or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. Neither we nor the selling stockholder are making offers to sell our common stock in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is not authorized or in which the person making such offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.

The information contained in this prospectus, in any prospectus supplement or in any document incorporated by reference herein or therein is accurate only as of the date of the relevant document. You should not assume that the information contained in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate as of any other date.

Except as otherwise stated or required by the context, references in this prospectus to the Company, VWR, we, us and our refer to VWR Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries.

ii

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We have filed a Registration Statement on Form S-3 with the SEC with respect to our common stock being offered as contemplated by this prospectus. This prospectus is a part of, and does not contain all of the information set forth in, the Registration Statement and the exhibits and schedules filed with it. For further information with respect to the Company and our common stock, please refer to the Registration Statement, including its exhibits and schedules. Statements made in this prospectus relating to any contract or other document are not necessarily complete and you should refer to the exhibits attached to the Registration Statement for copies of the actual contract or document. You may read and copy all materials that we file with the SEC, including the Registration Statement and its exhibits and schedules, at the SECs public reference room, located at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549, as well as on the Internet website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for more information on the public reference room. Information contained on any website referenced in this prospectus does not and will not constitute a part of this prospectus or the Registration Statement on Form S-3 of which this prospectus is a part.

In addition, we file periodic reports and other information with the SEC.

You may request a copy of any of our filings with the SEC at no cost, by writing us at the following address or telephoning us at the following number:

VWR Corporation

Radnor Corporate Center

Building One, Suite 200

100 Matsonford Road

Radnor, Pennsylvania 19087

(610) 386-1700

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus or to which we have referred you. We have not authorized any person to provide you with different information or to make any representation not contained in this prospectus.

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

We are incorporating by reference into this registration statement certain documents that we file with the SEC, which means that we are disclosing important information to you by referring you to those documents. We incorporate by reference into this registration statement the documents listed below (other than any portions thereof, which under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and applicable SEC rules, are not deemed filed under the Exchange Act), which we have filed with the SEC:

We also incorporate by reference the information contained in all other documents we file with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (other than portions of these documents that are either (1) described in paragraph (e) of Item 201 of Registration S-K or paragraphs (d)(1)-(3) and (e)(5) of Item 407 of Regulation S-K promulgated by the SEC or (2) furnished under Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of a Current Report on Form 8-K, unless otherwise indicated therein) after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of this offering. The information contained in any such document will be considered part of this prospectus from the date the document is filed with the SEC.

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