Pexa Kicks Off $910 Million IPO in Year’s Biggest for Australia

Online property exchange Torrens Group Holdings Pty and some of its shareholders are looking to raise A$1.18 billion ($910 million) in what would be Australia’s biggest initial public offering of the year, coming after a rocky patch during which three deals were shelved.

Torrens, which will be renamed into its brand name Pexa, is issuing about A$216 million worth of shares while its controlling shareholder Link Administration Holdings Ltd. and other investors are selling about A$916 million in shares, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News.

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is disposing of its entire stake in Pexa while Link’s holding will drop to 42.1% from 42.6%, the terms show. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is also selling part of its holdings.

The price has been set at A$17.13 per share, giving Pexa an A$3.3 billion ($2.6 billion) enterprise value.

The IPO launch comes as Link has also been conducting a trade sale process for Pexa. The company has been weighing an offer from KKR & Co. giving the business an enterprise value of A$3 billion plus cash on the balance sheet. Domain Holdings Australia Ltd. said Friday it was seeking to join KKR’s bid, which expires on Sunday.

If it is not trumped by the sale process, the offering is set to be Australia’s biggest since late last year, when Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure Ltd. raised $931.5 million in its first-time share sale, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Australia’s IPO scene has swung from boom to bust in the space of about a month, with three companies shelving offerings worth almost A$900 million combined on weak investor demand. If it hadn’t been for those pulled IPOs, Australia would have been having its best start to the year since 2007.

The country’s biggest listing of the year, a $384 million IPO by non-bank lender Pepper Money Ltd., has dropped 16.6% from its offer price since its debut on Tuesday.

Link itself was a buyout target last year. Private equity firms Carlyle Group Inc. and Pacific Equity Partners proposed a takeover of the service provider for Australia’s pension industry, followed by a rival offer from financial software maker SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. Both offers have been withdrawn.

Link bought Pexa in 2018 as part of a consortium, which also included Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for $1.6 billion. Pexa attempted to list later that year, before pulling the IPO, AFR reported.

Orders from cornerstone investors will be taken starting Friday, while Pexa’s shares are expected to start trading on June 29, the terms show.

Barrenjoey Capital Partners Pty, Macquarie Group Ltd., Morgan Stanley and UBS Group AG are lead managers for the offering.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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