* Cover-More shares fall 12.5 percent in lacklustre debut
* Window remains open for initial public offerings
* Pressure is growing on companies to offer better deals for
(Updates with analysis and details on IPOs in Australia)
By Jackie Range
SYDNEY, Dec 19 Shares in travel and medical
insurer Cover-More Group Ltd dropped 12.5 percent on
debut on Thursday in the latest Australian initial public
offering to disappoint investors.
Cover-More's downbeat debut will increase pressure on
companies to deliver more attractive offerings next year, when
at least $5.46 billion worth of deals are expected to hit the
But analysts said the window remained open for new listings
even if companies might need to lower their pricing targets to
"They haven't been leaving enough on the table for new
shareholders," said Shannon Rivkin, director at Rivkin
"I think in a way it's a good thing to see some of these
performing so badly - we'll start to see more realistic pricing
of floats for next year."
Cover-More shares opened at A$1.75, below its IPO price of
A$2 a share, and last traded at A$1.61, valuing the company at
Sydney-based private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners
will cut its shareholding in the company to 13 percent from
almost 83 percent under the terms of the offer.
The company is one of a number of private equity-backed
businesses that have listed this year in Australia, with
predictions of more to come in 2014.
But despite some soft performances including the biggest
Australian IPO this year, Pact Group Holdings Ltd, and
private equity-backed Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd
, there are still enough sellers and buyers to keep the
market humming, said Deloitte Corporate Finance Partner Steve
"While some recent floats are currently in negative
territory, we still expect the IPO window to remain open into
the New Year, fuelled by a backlog of companies whose listing
options in previous years have been limited and given strong and
ongoing institutional and retail investor demand," Woosnam said.
($1 = 1.1257 Australian dollars)
(Additional reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Stephen