Nov 26, 2014
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Australia's SurfStitch to run $79 mln listing after Billabong sale

Nov 26, 2014

SYDNEY, Australia - SurfStitch, the online clothing store formerly owned by Australian firm Billabong International Ltd, plans to raise up to A$93 million (79.34 million) in a partial share market listing, a source with direct knowledge of the sale said.

The sale will likely value the company higher than it was worth when struggling surfwear firm Billabong said it netted A$35 million from the sale of its 51 percent stake in August, highlighting the urgency of Billabong's exit.

Photo: SurfStitch.com

The source, who requested anonymity because the details of the listing have not been finalised, did not disclose how much of the company SurfStitch planned to sell.

Australia is headed for its biggest year of IPOs as company owners capitalise on a relatively buoyant equity market fuelled by record low interest rates. Internet-related firms are increasingly joining the ranks of firms listing as they bypass overseas technology markets like the NASDAQ in the hope of attracting support locally.

Investment bank JP Morgan AG, which is running the SurfStitch listing, plans to lodge an initial public offering prospectus with Australian authorities on Thursday, the source added.

Fund managers Perpetual Ltd, Paradice Investment Management, Ausbil Investment Management Ltd and Regal Funds Management Pty Ltd, which have a combined 65 percent holding, plan to keep stakes in the company after listing, as do the founding directors, the source said.

SurfStitch is forecasting annual revenue of nearly A$200 million after buying U.K. rival Surfdome Shop Ltd. Similar online clothes retailers like U.K.-listed ASOS Plc and Boohoo.Com Plc trade around two times annual revenue but SurfStitch will likely be priced at a lower price-revenue multiple, the source said.

1 US dollar = 1.1722 Australian dollar
1 GBP = 1.8497 Australian dollar

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