Beacon dazzles in early trade

Successful float will lend an air of confidence to troubled IPO market.

Australia’s biggest lighting retailer Beacon Lighting surged early on its first day as a listed company, with its shares rising as much as 60% and hitting $1.06 per share compared with the initial offer price of $0.66.

The successful listing bodes well for a flurry of upcoming IPOs, after two planned listings on the ASX were pulled due to insufficient demand last month.

Beacon shares later slipped back to $0.98, valuating the entire company at $210 million.

Beacon’s initial public offering raised $63.8 million from the sale of 45% of the company or 96.75m shares at $0.66 each. Shares during the bookbuild, run by underwriter Morgans, were evenly split between fund managers and individual investors.

Investor Martin Hanman sold his 45% stake in Beacon, enabling the IPO to take place. 

Beacon's controlling shareholder, the Melbourne-based Robinson family, will retain its 55% stake in the company for two years as the family's shares will be held in escrow. The company's founder, Ian Robinson, is Beacon's chairman and his son Glen is its chief executive.

Morgans, the No. 1 underwriter of IPOs on the ASX 100 Index between 2008 and last year, placed Beacon's shares through its network of more than 500 advisers in Australia.