The government has appointed Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital as it pushes ahead with the $4 billion sharemarket listing of private health insurer Medibank Private next financial year.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the three banks would be responsible for managing Medibank’s initial public offering, including share sales to retail and institutional investors. The field was narrowed after receiving pitches from 11 investment banks.
Mr Cormann said the government hoped to have Medibank listed by the end of the 2014-15 financial year, but had yet to finalise the precise timing or structure.
”This brings us another step closer to the opportunity to recycle the proceeds from the sale of Medibank Private, by investing them into nationally significant productivity enhancing infrastructure,” Mr Cormann said. Other banks may be appointed as joint lead managers in the future, along with retail brokers.
Medibank’s $4 billion float is expected to place it among the top 100 listed companies. It would also be one of the largest sharemarket listings in the past decade.
The appointments come after 11 investment banks pitched for the joint lead manager roles in Canberra last week. The government also reappointed financial adviser Lazard, law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and accountants Ernst & Young to work on the deal. The three firms prepared a recent scoping study for the government recommending it push ahead with a share sale.
UBS, which has been the strongest bank in Australian equity capital markets in recent years, was a surprise omission, while Deutsche Bank was the surprise inclusion.
Macquarie Capital is Australia’s largest investment bank and has been the busiest in IPOs over the past 12 months, while Goldman Sachs was a joint lead manager on Medibank’s aborted run at the ASX boards in 2007 and has a strong banking franchise globally.
While the float is expected to generate a fee boost for the banks, there will be little time for celebration, with work set to get under way almost immediately. It seems ambitious for the government to have Medibank listed by June 30, 2015, and means a float would need to be ready in time for the October/November marketing window or for May/June next year.
Medibank’s float occurs as private hospital owner Healthscope pushes towards a multibillion-dollar listing that is expected to attract the same type of investors.
Medibank had $5.9 billion revenue in the year to June 30, 2013, and reported a $315 million profit and 15.4 per cent return on equity. It is Australia’s largest private health insurer with more than 3.8 million subscribers.