The planned initial public offering (IPO) of Healthscope is expected to raise for the second-largest hospital operator in Australia $2.12 billion with private equity giants TPG Capital Management and Carlyle Group reportedly pricing the shares at $1.98, the upper end of the target range, Reuters reported.
That would make it the country's biggest IPO in four years after the $4 billion listing in 2010 at the ASX of the rail freight company Aurizon, also known before as QR National.
TPG and Carlyle would keep its 38 per cent stake in Healthscope, almost the upper end of the 25 to 40 per cent range stated in the IPO prospectus, while at least half of the remaining $1.7 billion would be available for cornerstone investors and $800 million for retail investors.
Commenting on the pricing of the shares launch, Platypus Chief Investment Officer Don Williams said, "It's a good space in that the earnings are defensive and there is growth. Healthscope does have very realistic, long duration growth options. It should be able to generate earnings per share (growth rate) of double digits or close to double digits for an extended period."
The IPO price is almost 22 times the 2015 forecast earnings of Healthscope, which ahead of the llsting sold its Brisbane Water Private Hospital in Woy Woy for $16.2 million to the Australian Unity Healthcare Property, the biggest hospital operator among unlisted ones. The deal comes with an initial 22.5 years of lease to the new operator, Healthe Care.
Chris Smith, head of healthcare and retirement fund of Australian Unity, said, "If Healthscope decides to put something to the market, we would certainly review those opportunities."