Breathing Life into the IPO list

Macquarie and Crescent Capital are considering a potential float of their medical equipment distribution firm.

Life Healthcare, the medical equipment distributor part-owned by Macquarie Group and private equity group Crescent Capital, is pre-marketing a potential float with the help of investment bank UBS.

The potential initial public offering joins a growing list of companies eyeing a listing on the stock exchange, including Pact Group, Nine Entertainment, credit business Veda and education company Vocation.

The market for IPOs has improved in recent months, helped by rising stock prices, growing confidence and pent up demand after years of few floats.

Shares in online currency company OzForex shot up almost 30 per cent from its issue price when it debuted this month. OzForex owners Macquarie and private equity giant the Carlyle Group offloaded their stakes in the IPO, highlighting investors will support certain private equity floats.

Crescent Capital has previously explored exit options for Life Healthcare, including a float. It is understood the option is again on the agenda, with Life Healthcare mulling a deal that values the business at about $100 million. Crescent owns 37 per cent of the company with Macquarie holding about 46 per cent.

The strength of the market will be tested again today as Fife Capital's Australian Industrial REIT lists after a $129m equity raising led by UBS. The book for the raising was six times covered and some valuations suggest the stock could rise by 10 per cent.

Industrial property has come back into favour and chief executive Allan Fife said "we would see over time that vehicle would grow". He said the shift from locally manufacturing products to more distribution of offshore goods had driven growth in the industrial property market.

Dealers on Friday predicted the Australian Industrial REIT would trade up from its $2 issue price into the $2.05 to $2.10 range.

The Fife Capital raising has also opened the way for real estate investment trusts to list, with APN Property Group planning to launch a $385m industrial property trust shortly.

The Australian