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UPDATE 1-Australian financial services group Pepper to raise $107 mln in IPO - source
July 14, 2015 / 1:00 AM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Australian financial services group Pepper to raise $107 mln in IPO - source

* IPO priced at discount on China, Greece concerns

* Pepper to sell 56 mln shares for A$2.60 each

* Deal values lender at A$471 million, below its expectations (Adds IPO valuation, market cap, context)

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY, July 14 (Reuters) - Non-bank lender Pepper Australia Pty Ltd plans to raise A$145 million ($107.21 million) in an initial public offering, valuing the company at a discount to its target because of concerns about the Chinese and Greek economies, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said on Tuesday.

The company will sell about 56 million shares for A$2.60 each after securing commitments from 12 cornerstone investors overnight, added the source, who asked not to be identified as there was no official announcement on the deal.

The new investors will hold a 30 percent stake, giving the home loan specialist a total market value of A$471 million, a sixth below the A$564 million the company hoped to be worth, said the source.

The discounted valuation - the listing has a valuation of 10 times earnings, compared with the 12 times earnings Pepper hoped for - highlights the impact that the volatile economic situations in China and Greece are having on global IPO markets.

In Australia, cash raised by new listings fell by nearly two-thirds in the first six months of 2015, compared with the first half of the previous year, Thomson Reuters data showed, as volatile markets made investors increasingly skittish.

The bankers Pepper hired to consider capital raising options, Macquarie Group Ltd and Goldman Sachs & Co , conducted an international roadshow as the Chinese share markets had a massive correction and Greece’s debt crisis brought it close to eviction from the eurozone.

Still, the listing will give the company access to growth capital while limiting its exposure to uncertain market conditions.

None of the current shareholders are selling shares, said the source.

Pepper is one of Australia’s biggest non-bank lenders with A$4.5 billion under management locally. In addition to its Australian lending business, Pepper provides loan services in Europe.

$1 = 1.3524 Australian dollars Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates

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