Breakfast Deals: Healthscope float?

Healthscope could be within striking distance of an ASX listing, while AGL isn't shy about its interest in Macquarie Generation.

The initial movements to get Healthscope back on the ASX mightn’t be far away with the clean-up of its pathology arm going very well. Meanwhile, AGL Energy is pretty clear about its interest in Macquarie Generation, iiNet’s two biggest names are selling some stock and Macquarie Group is grabbing a slice in China.

Healthscope, TPG Capital, Carlyle Group

The private equity-owned Healthscope could be heading back to the ASX within the next six months as the restructure of the business delivers encouraging results.

Yes, the headline full year net loss of $117.1 million, down from a $15.5 million profit the previous year, doesn’t look crash hot. It doesn’t look like the result of a company that should be floating.

But the loss was largest due to a $120 million impairment change on the company’s pathology business. Healthscope also copped leasing charges of $37.8 million.

The company restructure is far from complete. But the remaining pathology business left over following the closure on many collection centres throughout NSW, Queensland and Western Australia – thanks to a decision by the competition watchdog to flog the centres to Sonic Healthcare, is returning to profitability.

Chairman Robert Cooke declined to be drawn on speculation that Healthscope’s private equity owners TPG Capital and Carlyle Group are thinking about an IPO, but The Australian understands that pair has been fielding offer proposals from a number of investment banks.

The newspaper says industry sources indicate that an adviser could be appointed “within weeks” and a trade sale as well as a float would be considered.

The float option is looking mighty tempting in the wake of fertility clinic Virtus Health’s successful launch onto the ASX back in June. It’s trading 32 per cent higher than its issue price, well ahead of the ASX 200’s 6.9 per cent climb over the same period. 

Speaking or private equity re-listing companies on the ASX, The Australian Financial Review reports Pacific Equity Partners is thinking about floating credit reporting and data business Veda in the next year.

But, the newspaper reports that PEP would be expected to keep all its Veda shares as part of a float.

AGL Energy, Macquarie Generation

AGL Energy managing director Michael Fraser has made it perfectly clear that he’s interested in the sales process for the NSW government’s coal fired power station.

The Macquarie Generation sale was always expected to attract the attention of AGL, but some onlookers have been taken aback with how forward he was.

AGL is going up against Thailand’s RATCH-Australia and ERM Power. If estimates that the business could be worth $2 billion are accurate, AGL would have to seriously consider equity.

iiNet, Michael Malone, Simon Hackett

iiNet founder Michael Malone and non-executive director Simon Hackett are offloading more than $63 million shares in the ISP with the help of Credit Suisse and RBS Morgans.

According to media reports, Malone is understood to be diversifying his share holdings and Hackett, who founded Internode that iiNet merged with, is pumping some coin into a new technology play.

The book on the shares, thrown up with a floor price of $5.70, was set to close at 7pm last night.

Macquarie Group, Domino’s Pizza

Investment bank Macquarie Group has reportedly grabbed a “significant minority” slice of Domino’s Pizza franchise in China for $US15 million ($16.8 million).

According to The Australian, people familiar with the situation indicate that Macquarie’s principle investment arm has picked up the stake from Dash Brands.

Domino’s is hoping to double the number of outlets in the Red Kingdom to 40 by the end of the year.

David Jones

In the last year or so, department store David Jones has taken a few steps towards extracting some value from its real estate holdings. It’s not a story that’s only being noticed in Australia.

The Australian Financial Review understands that “at least two offshore buyers” are having a look at David Jones.

The push to unlock value from property holdings to funnel money into development is an industry-wide movement.

Wrapping Up

The boss of South Africa’s Gold Fields, Nick Holland, says the company is focused on processing the $US300 million ($336 million) acquisition of three Western Australian gold mines, but there could be more to come Down Under.

The comments came on the sidelines of the Africa Down Under mining conference in Perth, according to The Australian.

And finally prominent businessman Peter Ivany is reportedly about to receive $22.75 million for the sale of a residential site in Sydney’s fringe. Nice work!!

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