Our latest roundup covers news from May 15 – June 1, detailing upcoming ASX listings via IPO and RTO.
Consumer Discretionary and Staples
Despite retail and consumer sentiment souring lately, several ASX aspirants continue to work on plans for an IPO. QSR, which recently showed fund managers around its head office, changed its name to Craveable Brands. The business also appointed Board members and spruiked its defensive qualities and franchise model as a point of differentiation from this year’s cancelled IPOs.
Also in the food segment, producers Pinnacle and Allied Mills could be repackaged as a merged IPO next year, while organic fast food retailer Oliver’s opened its offer, touting the 2m customers it serves per annum. Finally, Franchise Retail Brands has been linked with an acquisition of Doughnut Time. In the discretionary segment, funeral services provider Enter Propel engaged Bell Potter to prepare for a listing.
In the health sector, news included:
- Imagion, a biotech focused on the early detection of cancer, eyeing a $12m IPO and intending to conduct its first human tests in Australia;
- Better Caring, a P2P aged and disabled care services marketplace, planning to expand across Australia before a possible IPO
- EVE Investments forming Medic Honey as a potential IPO nominee to disrupt the Manuka honey market and also enter medicinal cannabis; and
- Medicinal Cannabis Limited confirming it would give priority to QBL shareholders in its float
Resources and Energy
The only resource plays to feature in the news were Calidus Resources and Alderan Resources. The former opened its RTO offer, while the latter detailed plans to start a 10km drilling program at Utah’s Frisco project upon listing.
Activity in the energy sector was also light. There was speculation Quadrant may need to rely on increased gas prices and new production as gas plants dry up, whereas Singapore’s leading gas pipeline and energy services business, GasHub, announced a RTO via Raffles Capital.
The technology sector dominated headlines, with various companies looking to test investor appetite. Closest to an ASX debut, Elsight indicated it would focus on sales and marketing, R&D, plus partnerships once it lists. This comes as the company used a tailored version of its encrypted communications software to protect President Trump in Israel.
Not far behind, HR software business ELMO is due to release its prospectus next week. The company will raise $25m at $2 per share in a deal underwritten by Wilsons. The broker has placed an enterprise value range of $89.4m-121.5m on the business, also noting the strength of its recurring revenue.
Other technology companies making news included:
- Oracle cloud reseller, PrimeQ, currently conducting a $2m pre-IPO and planning a $10m float next March;
- Audinate commencing a roadshow following a valuation of $96m-110m by Shaw & Partners;
- Data Republic being tipped by UBS to benefit from the data boom and list on the ASX;
- Chinese touchscreen developer WeTouch launching its IPO to expand its facilities, sales team, and foreign presence;
- Agri-tech business CropLogic completing an oversubscribed pre-IPO and intending to trial its technology on corn, wheat, soybean and cotton; and
- Franchise HR software provider, FoundU, announcing it would eye an $80m IPO led by a former executive of Rio Tinto
Financials, Funds and Real Estate
In the finance sector, Latitude engaged KWM for legal help with its IPO. The company is tipped to appoint Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, and Macquarie to lead a listing.
Three prospective funds also released updates. Wilson Asset Management’s microcap fund surpassed the minimum raise target on its first day; New Energy Solar could list their fund as they embark on 4 US projects and predict solar capacity to triple this year; and Evans & Partners are mulling a $20m float of their disruption investment offering.
The only REIT to recently provide an update was APN Property Group. The company acquired a regional Caltex service station in NSW for their float in July, and is conducting due diligence on 3 more properties.
Some of the businesses that formally opened their books for an IPO or RTO include:
- LIC, WAM Microcap Limited – $16.5m-$154m
- Organic fast food chain, Oliver’s – $9m-$15m
- Mineral explorer, Galena Mining – $6m
- Touchscreen developer and retailer, Australia WeTouch Technology – $14m-$24m
- Accounting firm, Kelly Partners Group -$7.3m
- Mineral explorer, New Century Resources – $5.15m (via RTO of Attila Resources)
- Holding company for Chinese steel component businesses, CTL Australia – $7m-$10m
Dual Track Sales
Non-conforming lender Liberty Financial engaged JP Morgan to help consider funding, which could include a dual track sale. Also mulling its financing options is cattle business Consolidated Pastoral, who asked Goldman Sachs for assistance.
A new offer was lobbed for Domain by Hellman & Friedman. Fairfax, who are considering listing any leftover assets after a potential sale, are presenting to suitors. Nonetheless, the media company continues to prepare Domain for a possible IPO, which is backed by the subsidiary’s boss.
Lattice Energy began its roadshow, touring local cities before the upcoming international leg involving the US, UK and Asia. Meanwhile, a sale decision is not expected for 6-8 weeks, albeit a trade sale to Beach Energy appears most likely.
Property registrar PEXA has attracted further interest from Link Group, who increased their stake in the company via a capital raise. The raise improves PEXA’s balance sheet and provides a market cap of $780m. A window of 12 months still remains plausible for an IPO or trade sale.
Uncertain IPOs, setbacks and cancellations
Officeworks joined the growing chorus of IPOs to be shelved. The company cited concerns around the equity market, however some analysts attribute peak valuations and Amazon’s upcoming arrival. In the meantime, the retailer has not ruled out a return to the equity market if conditions improve.
Representing another blow for retail IPOs, Retail Apparel Group was acquired by South Africa’s Foschini Group for $302m. Also the subject of an acquisition was hospital pharmacy business HPS – putting an end to hopes of a float.
Takor Group, which was recently spruiking its operations abroad, has withdrawn its IPO application.
In the last few days, Manuka Resources announced it would cancel its IPO and secure finance via the debt market.
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