Riversdale float could be shelved

Plans for a $250m-plus float of a pub company could be shelved, as the group concentrates on a potential recapitalisation

Plans for a $250 million-plus float of a pub company backed by high-profile investors, including Mark Carnegie, could be shelved, as the group instead turns its attention to a potential recapitalisation by a financial services group.

The Riversdale pub group, which is backed by high-profile investors such as former Qantas boss Geoff Dixon and advertising veteran John Singleton, has engaged with investment bank Citigroup about plans to list a company on the Australian Securities Exchange that would be valued at $250m to $500m and include pubs, marinas and potentially other assets such as hotels, car parks and self-storage facilities, a source says.

Should the float proceed, it would occur next year. However, since work started on launching an IPO in recent months, other options had emerged, Carnegie said. They included a recapitalisation proposal or introducing another private equity investor.

Carnegie would not comment on details about the alternative proposals but said there were groups that saw the fund's investments as attractive.

"Over a long period of time, operating real estate investments have been very successful," he said.

Riversdale has been accumulating pub assets since the global financial crisis, when values crashed. The company is about to buy an extra pub in Queensland and is eyeing at least three others in the state.

As part of the recapitalisation proposal, an investor would pour $50m to $100m into the fund. The investment is among a number Carnegie is involved in. Among others is a biotech company that seeks to develop ways to improve prostate cancer testing.

Carnegie has secured a 34 per cent stake in the company through a $5m investment. The company is embarking on a $5m equity raising.

Carnegie has recently been under the spotlight for joining forces with Perpetual for a $2.2 billion proposal to unwind the cross-ownership structure between Washington H Soul Pattinson and Brickworks.

They have called on Brickworks shareholders to vote on the plan later this month. Brickworks and Soul Patts both own more than 40 per cent of each other, and Brickworks has been seeking clarity from the ASX on who is allowed to vote on the proposal

Meanwhile, the management roadshow for Redcape's new listed pub fund, Hotel Property Investments, starts today. The fund will include 41 pubs leased to Coles and seven bottle shops.

Units for the trust have an indicative price range of $2 to $2.15 and the trust has an anticipated yield range of 7.4 to 7.9 per cent for the 2015 financial year.

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