Anchorage to keep Dick Smith stake

DataRoom: Firm racing against the clock to complete an IPO of the retailer

Anchorage Capital Partners is trying to push for a pre-Christmas initial public offering of Dick Smith Electronics by seeking to assure fund managers that it will keep as much as half its shares in the retailer after an IPO.

Fund managers have told Anchorage that if it wants to complete an IPO by December 15, regarded as the last possible date for a 2013 IPO, it has to keep a significant shareholding in Dick Smith.

The money managers are also pressing the private equity firm, Dick Smith chief executive Nick Abboud and the IPO’s lead managers, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Macquarie Group (MQG), for a significant discount in the price of the shares.

A Dick Smith prospectus has yet to be issued but Anchorage advisors are working furiously on one amid an increasingly crowded IPO calendar.

The size of Dick Smith’s IPO and the percentage of the company to be sold to the public has yet to be decided. A share sale may give the retailer a market value of between $500 million and $600 million.

Anchorage bought Dick Smith from Woolworths (WOW) in September last year for $20 million. It paid an additional $74 million to buy Woolworths out of an agreement that would have seen Woolworths collect a proportion of the sale proceeds when Dick Smith was sold.

The 111% gain in the share price of JB Hi-Fi (JBH) so far this year has encouraged Anchorage to push for a 2013 IPO of Dick Smith.

Some fund managers are reluctant to take part in the IPO as they want more evidence of a turnaround in the retailer’s business through an examination of pre Christmas sales, which accounts for about a fifth of a retailer’s annual profit, according to Citigroup Inc.

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