Hirepool too pricey, broker

TIM HUNTER
Last updated 11:43 24/06/2014

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The float of equipment hire firm Hirepool has been withdrawn after investors baulked at the price.

In an email to brokers this morning, joint lead manager Deutsche Craigs said Hirepool's private equity owner Next Capital had withdrawn the proposed initial public share offer (IPO).

It said the reason was the New Zealand economy was strong so Next was happy to retain full ownership of the business.

Forsyth Barr managing director Neil Paviour-Smith, whose firm was not part of the IPO process, said Next had simply asked too much for the shares.

"We think Hirepool is a good company," he said.

"The issue was just the pricing of the offer and we didn't have a lot of interest at the indicative price range."

However, the float's failure was not a sign of IPO fatigue, he said.

"There's a lot of investable funds out there. But if you're in a fine restaurant with a menu of choices you are going to be more discerning." Hirepool had aimed to raise $175 million to $262m in a share offer that would leave Next with 65 per cent to 80 per cent of the company.

Final pricing on the IPO was to be set today in a bookbuild of institutions and retail brokers.

The other lead managers on the deal were UBS and Macquarie Securities.

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