Latitude Financial IPO falls through

16 October 2019, Written by Business News Australia

Latitude Financial IPO falls through

A rebranded version of GE Money was set to become Australia's largest IPO of 2019 this week, but the company's owners have cancelled the $1.04 billion float.

Led by ex-Australia Post chief Ahmed Fahour, this was Latitude Financial Group's second attempt to list on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in just over 12 months.

Two sources close to the deal told Reuters Latitude's founders KKR & Co, Deutsche Bank and Varde Partners opted out of the IPO given a large part of the demand came from hedge funds rather than long-term investors.

The listing was originally going to be set at between $2-2.25 per share, but weak demand reportedly led to a discount of up to 20.9 per cent which still wasn't enough to get the deal over the line.

In a statement released today, Latitude confirmed the withdrawal of the IPO after bookbuilding concluded last night.

"Despite extensive engagement with prospective investors the Board and shareholders have determined not to proceed with the offer," chairman Mike Tilley said.

"The Board and shareholders were conscious of the importance of ensuring a strong after market for the company. Latitude is a strong business and its management team will continue to execute on the growth strategy embodied by Latitude 2.0.

"While it is disappointing that we are not in a position to progress a public listing at this stage, we will continue to execute on the growth strategy with the support of our shareholder group," added managing director and CEO Ahmed Fahour.

The float was to be underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Macquarie and UBS.

2019 has been a big year for IPOs and with mixed results. On the more positive end of the spectrum you have Beyond Meat's which is now worth almost double its listing price, but Uber has been less promising with its value down by almost a quarter while investors pulled out of the WeWork IPO which ultimately failed. 

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Business News Australia

Author: Business News Australia





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