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* Australia’s second-biggest listing so far this year
* Australia bound for biggest listing year in decades
* PEP also listed Spotless Group
By Byron Kaye
SYDNEY, June 24 (Reuters) - Toilet paper and tampon maker Asaleo Care Ltd will raise A$656 million ($616.6 million) in Australia’s second-largest initial public offering (IPO) of the year after pricing its offer near the middle of an indicative range, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Asaleo, jointly owned by private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) and Swedish hygiene and forest products company Svenska Cellulosa SCA AB, set the price at A$1.65 a share from a range of A$1.55 to A$1.80, said the people, who declined to be identified as the information was not yet public.
The IPO continues Australia’s stampede of new listings as companies take advantage of a buoyant share market. The country is headed for its biggest year of new listings in almost a quarter of a century.
The IPO also continues a bumper year for private equity firms exiting investments via listings. Australia’s largest listing so far this year was another former PEP investment - cleaner and caterer Spotless Group Ltd, whose shares have traded over their issue price since listing in May.
Dwarfing that, TPG Capital Management LP and Carlyle Group LP are widely expected to soon lodge a prospectus with the securities authorities to list hospital company Healthscope in a share offer worth up to A$4 billion.
In the Asaleo IPO, owners agreed to sell 398 million shares in a bookbuild which attracted retail and institutional investors as well as offshore institutional investors, the two people said.
SCA plans to reduce its ownership of Asaleo to around one-third from a half as part of the IPO, while PEP will sell its entire stake.
The stock is scheduled to begin trading on June 27.
$1 = 1.0639 Australian Dollars Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Christopher Cushing