SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian accounting software maker MYOB Ltd said it plans to raise up to A$833.8 million ($635.69 million) in an initial public offering which is expected to be one of the country's biggest listings this year.
The Melbourne-based owner of software used by 1.2 million businesses said in a listing prospectus on Tuesday that it planned to sell up to 277.2 million of a total of up to 633.4 million shares for between A$3 and A$4, while its current controlling shareholder, private equity firm Bain Capital, would keep the rest.
The sale would give the company a market capitalization of up to A$2.3 billion, MYOB said, more than double the A$1.2 billion that Bain paid when it bought it from Australian buyout group Archer Capital in 2011. Archer took previously listed MYOB private in 2009.
The purpose of the sale is to pay down debt, let management shareholders cash in their investments, broaden the company's
investor base and boost its profile, the prospectus said.
Bain had until recently considered a trade sale for its first Australian exit and its decision to list MYOB confirms its faith in Australian equities, which have risen 9 percent so far in 2015 despite sharp declines in the resources sector and a growing national deficit.
Australia in 2014 had its biggest-ever year for new listings, with $15 billion raised in IPOs, as company owners, including private equity firms, focused on a buoyant share market for offloading assets.
But IPO activity has been subdued so far in 2015, echoing investors' caution as vendors wait to see if unfavorable macroeconomic factors like slowing Chinese growth, sliding commodity prices and an imminent U.S. rate hike hit the broader economy.
While likely to be a marquee deal for Australia this year, the MYOB listing will be far smaller than last year's biggest IPO, the A$5.7 billion sale of health insurer Medibank Private Ltd.
MYOB said Bain was keeping its 57 percent stake under escrow, without giving further details.
Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Ltd, Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Ltd [GS.UL], Merrill Lynch Equities (Australia) Ltd and UBS AG were joint lead managers on the offer, while Australian firm Reunion Capital was financial adviser.
They will conduct a bookbuild on April 29 before listing starts on May 4.
($1 = 1.3116 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Stephen Coates)