Healthscope lifts on debut

The private hospital operator, Australia’s biggest IPO in four years, gains a healthy 2 per cent.

Healthscope, Australia’s biggest IPO in four years, rose 2% on its first day of trading on Monday

In the opening minutes of trade,  Healthscope shares briefly dipped to $2.09 from an issue price of $2.10 but by 1251 AEST was up 4 cents at $2.14, outperforming a flat broader market.

The IPO raised almost $2.26 billion from the sale of 1.07 billion of shares with a final price set at the higher end of the price range of $1.76 and $2.29, nearly 22 times forward earnings which represents a slight discount to larger rival Ramsay Healthcare.

Healthscope has been seeking to raise as much as $2.6bn, but even at $2.26bn this is the biggest float to hit the ASX since the $4bn listing of rail freight company Aurizon – then called QR National -- in 2010.

Vendors TPG and Carlyle decided to retain a 38 per cent stake in the company, a big chunk “reflecting their strong support for the company and its prospects,” Healthscope said. Cornerstone investors, including Blackrock and AMP Capital and a Malaysian fund, have been allocated at least half of the $1.7 billion of demand following a well-covered book build, while retail investors get about $800 million.

Healthscope is Australia’s second-largest private hospital operator with 40 hospitals nationally and has a market capitalisation of about $3.64bn.

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