SYDNEY Aug 28 Australia's largest buyout firm
Pacific Equity Partners said it had sold down its stake in
newly-listed credit rating company Veda Group Ltd,
making a A$243 million ($227.42 million) profit on share gains
over eight months.
PEP in December sold a third of Veda in an initial public
offer and said it would keep the rest at least until the company
reported its first annual results.
Veda reported its earnings for the year ended June 30 on
Wednesday. The company beat the annual net profit forecast in
its prospectus by 8 percent.
After the earnings announcement, PEP Managing Director Tony
Duthie wrote to Veda saying his firm had sold 32 percent of its
shares in a block trade to an undisclosed buyer, and that it
would keep the remaining 31 percent.
Veda released a copy of the letter at the start of trading
on Thursday and said PEP had sold the shares earlier in the day.
PEP sold the stake for A$2.15 per share, or A$580 million, Veda
said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The stake was worth A$336.8 million before the December
listing, based on its issue price.
Veda's shares jumped 6.3 percent to close at A$2.20 on
Wednesday, before PEP sold its stake, nearly double their A$1.25
issue price. On Thursday the shares closed steady.
PEP is taking advantage of high share prices and strong
global interest in Australian businesses as it exits a host of
investments in 2014.
In May, it sold half of cleaner-caterer Spotless Group Ltd
in a A$954 million listing and ice-cream maker Peters Food Group
Ltd to Britain's R&R Ice Cream PLC for a reported
In July, PEP sold New Zealand snack company Griffin's Foods
Ltd to Philippine snack and beverage maker Universal Robina Corp
for NZ$700 million ($609 million).
(1 US dollar = 1.0685 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Ryan Woo)