Credit Suisse, Goldman well placed for Medibank prize

The two investment banks hope a past mandate and their status as leading IPO underwriters in Australia will help them win a Medibank joint lead manager role.

Investment banks Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs may be among the front runners to land a joint lead manager role in the Medibank initial public offering.

The banks may be able to take heart in their efforts from the loyalty shown to Lazard’s John Wylie by coaltion governments.

Mr Wylie, the head of Lazard’s advisory team in Australia, was selected last year by the Commonwealth to conduct the scoping study of the health insurer after completing similar studies in 2003 and 2006 when he ran his own boutique firm Carnegie Wylie, acquired by Lazard in 2007.

Previous Medibank analysis done by Mr Wylie and his team resulted in a past coalition government selecting Goldman Sachs JBWere, ABN AMRO Rothschild and Credit Suisse in May 2007 to be joint lead managers of a proposed float of Medibank.

That IPO was cancelled by the Labor Party after it won the federal election in November 2007. The current coalition government wants to sell Medibank in the 2014-15 financial year.

Last week in Canberra, Goldman Sachs’ chief executive in Australia Simon Rothery and his Credit Suisse counterpart Rob Stewart both pressed their cases to again be named as a joint lead manager of the Medibank IPO.

“To protect the integrity and commercial confidentiality of the joint lead manager tender process, we will not be commenting on that process while it is underway,” the Department of Finance said in an email to Data Room.

The Commonwealth has said up to four joint lead managers will be appointed to the Medibank IPO. That leaves room for Australia’s own investment bank Macquarie to be appointed a joint lead manager.

From January 1, 2008 to April 15 this year, Macquarie has been the number one underwriter of Australian IPOs, according to Bloomberg data. Credit Suisse is ranked second, Goldman third, Commonwealth Bank fourth and UBS fifth, says Bloomberg.

UBS was the number two underwriter of Australian IPOs last year behind Macquarie, according to Bloomberg. The Swiss investment bank has aggressively pressed its case to be a Medibank joint lead manager given its leading equity capital markets franchise Down Under.

“The JLMs will be responsible for the project management and logistics of the overall IPO, including both retail and institutional components, and the provision of institutional selling services and, together with other separately appointed syndicate members, retail selling services,” the Commonwealth said when calling for tenders from the investment banks to manage the Medibank IPO.

(Reporting by Brett.Cole@businessspectator.com.au

Editing by Victoria.Thieberger@businessspectator.com.au )