WELLINGTON, June 24 New Zealand equipment hire
firm Hirepool Ltd has scrapped plans for the country's second
biggest initial public offer this year amid reports that
institutional investors were unwilling to pay the asking price.
The company's major shareholders had decided not to proceed
with the IPO, announced a week ago, which had aimed to raise
between NZ$175 million ($151.6 million) and NZ$262 million
($226.9 million) in new shares and the sale of existing shares.
"Given the strength of the New Zealand economy and the
positive outlook for Hirepool, Next Capital Pty Limited on
behalf of the Next Capital Funds, have determined that they are
comfortable retaining control of the Hirepool business," it said
in a brief statement on Tuesday.
The company, which rents out a wide range of equipment for
home maintenance, construction projects, and social functions,
had been due to finalise the offer today through a bookbuild,
with an indicative price of $1.10 and NZ$1.50 each.
Media reports had said institutional investors were baulking
at the asking price, but the shareholders made no comment on the
response from potential institutional shareholders.
The IPO planned to offer up to 120.1 million new shares,
with existing shareholders selling up to 83.5 million shares,
with the proceeds to be used in part to reduce debt, and
increase its stake in a part-owned subsidiary .
It would have been the country's second biggest share sale
this year after the government sold down a 49 percent stake in
power company Genesis Energy Ltd for NZ$733 million in
Hirepool, which has 58 branches around New Zealand, is owned
by private investors and private equity firm Next Capital. After
the IPO, they would have held between 20 percent and 35 percent.
The IPO was the fifth announced in less than a month, most
of which have been small technology firms tapping the market to
($1 = 1.1546 New Zealand dollars)
(Reporting by Gyles Beckford, editing by G Crosse)