KKR-Backed Australian Pub Operator Seeks $272 Million in IPO

(Bloomberg) — Australian Venue Co., a pub operator backed by KKR & Co., is seeking to raise A$352 million ($272 million) in an initial public offering, the latest in a flurry of fresh listings in Sydney.

The Melbourne-based company, which runs about 175 pubs, bars and venues across Australia and New Zealand, is marketing shares at A$2.33 each in the offering, according terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News on Monday. The price would value the firm at A$903 million, the terms show. KKR invested in the pub operator in 2017.

Australian Venue’s IPO is the third major offering in two weeks in the country where companies have priced about $1.7 billion of first-time share sale so far in 2021, the best start to a year since 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Non-bank lender Pepper Money Ltd. kicked off its IPO last week that could raise $351 million, while medical testing operator Australian Clinical Labs Ltd. is looking to raise $316 million.

Australian Venue plans to start taking institutional investor orders from May 10 and to list in Sydney on May 27, according to the terms.

Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and KKR Capital Markets are the joint lead managers of the offering. The deal would mean Goldman Sachs is working on all three of Australia’s biggest listings to date in 2021. The U.S. bank is leading in underwriting of Australia and New Zealand equity and rights offerings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg League Tables.

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