| SYDNEY, Sept 18
SYDNEY, Sept 18 Online jobs portal
Freelancer.com is planning an initial public offering in
Australia this year after knocking back several attempts to buy
it, including a $400 million approach from Japanese recruitment
firm Recruit Holdings Co.
Freelancer would be capitalising on a buoyant local IPO
market and a local listing would help boost Australia's
fast-growing tech sector at the expense of Nasdaq, where
software firm Atlassian is expected to
"We think the Australian stock market is a great market to
go to... Tech companies, in my opinion, are trading at a premium
to the U.S.," Freelancer chief executive Matt Barrie, who owns
50 percent of the business, told Reuters.
Investment fund Startive Capital owns another 42 percent of
Freelancer, while unnamed investors hold the rest.
Barrie declined to comment on a potential valuation for the
IPO, as the company is in a blackout period until it files its
prospectus. The company has engaged Sydney-based KTM Capital Pty
Ltd as broker and underwriter for the listing.
Freelancer matches employers and freelancers around the
world through its website for tasks such as data entry, design
and accounting. So far, it has had almost nine million users,
with almost five million projects posted.
Barrie declined to comment on individual approaches, but a
source had earlier said Recruit Holdings was one of the suitors.
"It's really early days in the space for us, so I think it
would be too early for us to sell the business at this point in
time," said Barrie, adding the company had looked at term sheets
from venture capitalists, approaches from private equity players
and banks as well as offers to sell the whole business.
"I think there is going to be a global market place for
services there's such a long way to go in this space, we want
to go out there and capture more of the territory," he added.