Australian property owner HomeCo eyes $206m IPO: Report

Home Consortium (HomeCo), an Australia-based property group, is looking to raise roughly A$300 million ($206 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian stock exchange, according to a prospectus seen by The Australian Financial Review.

According to the report, HomeCo, the Sydney-based owner of retail centres, will issue 89.6 million shares at A$3.35 a share ($2.3), giving it a market capitalisation of A$637.7 million ($437 million) in what is considered as the largest real estate IPO this year.

Founded in 2016, HomeCo owns a portfolio spanning 485,000 square meters of retail space. It plans to come to market as the owner of 30 properties with an A$925 million ($634 million) fair value, the terms said.

The company has tapped Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan to lead the IPO that could hit the ASX boards on October 14.

HomeCo became Australia’s leading landlord in the growing large-format retail sector when it acquired Masters in 2016 for A$725 million ($497 million). Today, HomeCo’s portfolio of 30 centres are present in five states under the HomeCo brand, offering a mix of everyday needs and inspired lifestyle brands.

On its website, the company said 66 per cent of the tenants within the HomeCo portfolio service fresh food and daily needs, services, and lifestyle and leisure. These include Woolworths, Coles, KFC, McDonalds, Anaconda, Decathlon, Anytime Fitness, Aldi, Liquorland, Bing Lee, and more.

“HomeCo is built on a platform of hyper-convenience and everyday value, anchored by Australia’s leading supermarkets, daily-needs and services enterprises,” the company said.

HomeCo’s planned IPO comes at a time when Australian investors are shifting their focus to industrial and office property as retail REITs struggle with consumer downturn, according to reports.

In May, Investec Australia Property Fund (IAPF), a South Africa-listed Australian domiciled REIT, has announced plans to raise up to A$158 million ($110 million) through a dual listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), in addition to its existing primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Australia is also attracting Southeast Asian online realtor PropertyGuru Group, whose backers include buyout firms TPG Capital and KKR. The group is planning an Australian IPO that could raise up to A$400 million ($275 million) this year, sources with knowledge of the deal said.