Government to sell Medibank through IPO in 2014-15

The federal government will sell health insurer Medibank Private in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2014-15, says Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

Medibank Private, the health insurer owned by the Commonwealth, will be sold in an initial public offering, Australia’s Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.

“Following careful consideration of the scoping study the Government has decided to progress the sale of Medibank Private through an initial public offering,” a statement form Mr Cormann’s office said. “The independently prepared scoping study reaffirmed our long-held view that there is no compelling reason for the Government to own Medibank Private.”

Subject to market conditions, Medibank Private will be sold through an IPO in the 2014-15 financial year. The appointment of joint lead managers of the IPO will be made at a future date, the statement said.

Media reports have put the value of the insurer at up to $6 billion. The precise timing and structure of the initial public offering are yet to be determined, the minister’s statement said. 

“Medibank Private is a commercial business operating in a well-functioning, well-regulated competitive private health insurance market with 34 competing funds,” said Mr Cormann. “There is no market failure in the health insurance market.”