The arrival of three big company floats over past two months – Myer, Kathmandu and Carsales – indicate investor appetite for new share listings is returning after the worst of the global financial crisis.
The latest floats, Myer and Kathmandu, will take the initial public offer (IPO) volume for 2009 to just under $3 billion, half the level of pre-crisis years.
However, market watcher believe the IPO market isn’t likely to really get going until next year and say much will depend on the pricing outcomes of the two latest offers.
“The window is definitely open again, having been effectively shut for 14 months,” PricewaterhouseCoopers partner for corporate finance Greg Keys said on Monday.
“I don’t think there will be a stampede to the door just yet, but quality businesses are assessing their options.”
Mr Keys, who is author of an upcoming report on the IPO market, said six non-resource IPOs were completed in the first nine months of 2009 for a value of $255 million, with $164 million of that accounted for by Carsales, which listed in September.
Shares offers are back on the market radar due to a sustained rise in the share market over the past seven months, Mr Keys said.
Myer and Kathmandu’s public offers, which will raise as much as $2.34 billion and $374.9 million, respectively, and be completed in November, would take the 2009 total to $2.97 billion, if there were no other major offers.
That would compare to the 24 IPOs completed in 2008 that raised $1.6 billion. All but one of those was completed by mid July 2008, meaning the IPO market all but stopped for about 14 months.
To further compare, the annual average in 2007 for non-resource IPOs was 78 offers worth $6 billion.
Mr Keys said the offer market in calendar 2010 would probably be closer to those 2007 levels.
Bell Financial Group senior adviser Chris Kimber said private companies and their advisers would be watching the Myer and Kathmandu floats with interest.
“If they get away in the middle of the range, there will be some in February next year,” Mr Kimber said.
“If they’re at the low end, it will take longer.”
In the unlikely event that shares offered under the two IPOs are priced at the top end of their indicative price ranges, then there would be more before Christmas, Mr Kimber said.
Myer and Kathmandu have both indicated share sale ranges, with a final price to be determined through an institutional bookbuild.
Kathmandu on Monday said it was offering shares to be priced between $1.65 to $1.90, while Myer’s offer will be between $3.90 and $4.90.
However, Mr Kimber said, the sub-$50 million part of the IPO market was booming, at a rate of about 10 a week.
But while there was a lot of money waiting to be invested, investors remained cautious.
“We’re not at the stage where you can float anything, like in 2007,” Mr Keys said.
Owners of potential new listings are also cautious, with Orica Ltd chief executive Graeme Liebelt saying last week that there was no proposed timeframe for the demerger and float of the group’s consumer products division.