Oceania may launch $300m IPO

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 17:14 22/07/2014

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Aged-care operator Oceania Group is the latest firm to seriously mull floating on the NZX.

The Australian Financial Review reports the company is hoping to raise $300 million in an initial public offering by the end of the year.

Oceania is owned by Australian investment firm Macquarie.

Macquarie rolled up Abano Healthcare subsidiary Eldercare with Qualcare, acquired for $380.2m in 2006 from fellow private equity group Ironbridge Capital.

Oceania operates 50 retirement villages and rest homes, and 3600 beds in New Zealand, and is said to be annually earning between $30m and $35m before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation.

According to the most recent financial statements filed to the Companies Office, Oceania had positive cashflows from operating activities of $52.8m for the year to May 31, 2013. But this was boosted by a one-off $31m insurance payment covering Christchurch earthquake damage.

The company reported a loss of $35.5m, mostly accounted for by a $42m goodwill impairment.

Oceania had net liabilities of $132.9m, but notes to the accounts said this included $267.2m in shareholder loans from Macquarie. The notes also show Oceania was carrying $274m in bank loans.

Calls to Oceania chief executive Guy Eady to discuss the planned float were not returned.

The AFR said the company had appointed brokers First NZ Capital and Craigs after running a beauty parade for investors over the past few weeks.

A dual-listing, primarily on the NZX, with a secondary listing on the ASX, was likely.

The company was said to be looking to raise between $200m and $300m from the IPO.

If it makes it on to the NZX, it will join an increasingly crowded space for rest-home operators on the exchange alongside Ryman Healthcare, Summerset and Metlifecare.

- This story has been corrected

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