Our latest roundup covers news from May 1 – 14, detailing upcoming ASX listings via IPO and RTO.
As Quadrant lines up Goldman Sachs and UBS to help Macquarie with a float of the energy business, owners are expected to retain a limited, escrowed stake. UBS and Macquarie have both distanced themselves from any perceived conflicts of interest stemming from their involvement with Lattice Energy.
Secure communications technology provider El-sight was in the news, with the Israeli business spruiking its profitable operations that were previously restricted to the Israeli government. The company is now ramping up efforts to sell internationally by diversifying its offer from a military focus to civil products.
Chartered accountants Kelly Partners is the latest professional services firm to approach an ASX debut, with the business recently conducting a 3 day east coast roadshow. A $1 price has been set for shares in the $8m float, which would see a June 12 listing. Morgans has valued the company at 15.5x and will underwrite the offer, while Ellerston Capital is expected to retain a 15% stake.
In the consumer staples space, Chinese health and nutritional products business Eagle Health spoke about its extensive online operations and a desire to integrate Australian products into its portfolio.
Playing off a related thematic in strong demand from China, Ocean Grown Abalone is banking on a surge in harvest volumes via “wild farming”, from 12t in 2016 to 200t by 2020. Listing plans would see capital raised later this year to fund a processing site and geographic expansion.
Seeking to capitalise on another emerging trend, wholly organic fast-food chain Oliver’s plan to raise $15m at 30c per share. The company is eyeing strong store growth and has even partnered with Tesla at one of its stores. A prospectus has been released to the public and a listing is on the cards for mid-June.
Looking to join a number of other LICs that have listed on the ASX this year, Ausbil is planning an investment fund with a 130/30 long short strategy.
Some of the businesses that formally opened their books for an IPO or RTO include:
- Secure live data provider for first responders, El-sight – $4.5m-6.5m
- Gold explorer, Caldius Resources – $7.875m (via RTO of PharmaNet Group)
- Mineral explorer, Pure Minerals Limited – $4.5m (via RTO of Eagle Nickel Limited)
- Base metal & gold explorer, Bryah Resources – $5m-6m
- Exploration & development company, Golden Mile Resources – $4.5m
- LIC, Contango Global Growth Limited – $55m-330m
- Biotech business focussed on the early detection of cancer, Imagion Biosystems – $12m
Trade sale and Private Equity interest
Fund managers received marketing reports for the Officeworks float, with JP Morgan citing a valuation of $1.14bn-1.52bn, compared with Macquarie’s figure of $1.33bn-1.52bn. Among other points emphasised in the pitch were the company’s market leading position, the strength of its management, and its position as a leading online retailer – this was tempered with caution of a slower growth outlook. The retailer also presented its latest Board appointees, which include Geoff Kleemann, David Bortolussi and Mary Devine.
Returning to the energy sector, Lattice Energy is said to have attracted interest from up to a dozen suitors, with trade bids due “around July”. In the meantime, the company appointed Bank of America to join UBS and Macquarie as Joint Lead Managers for a potential IPO. Some analysts are tying this move to the bank’s lending relationship with the company, which may assist with a trade sale.
While Fairfax has yet to signal clear intentions about its Domain subsidiary, the real estate website was the subject of a part-bid from TPG, who signalled they would not list the business.
In other news, previous ASX aspirant and ANZ market leader in water treatment and chemicals, Ixom, appears to be leaning towards a long-term trade sale.
Uncertain IPOs, setbacks and cancellations
After securing multiple anchor investors and setting a price of $2.15 per share, Zip Industries was forced to pull its float after failing to secure sufficient support. A revised, last–ditch effort was being organised by UBS, but the company’s founder and private equity backers turned down the opportunity in favour of trade sale interest.
Meanwhile, former IPO nominee Dixon Hospitality revealed CHAMP private equity was the suitor who emerged when the company was considering a float.
Rounding out this edition of upcoming news, property tech startup Local Agent Finder has expressed it remains open-minded as to its future funding model , with a float, trade sale or the prospect of strategic investments all under consideration.
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