Liberty Financial launches funds for a float of $ 1.8 billion
Ma and a handful of secret backers, who together own 100% of Liberty, are expected to seek to list around 20% of the capital and commit to staying heavily involved after the proposed float.
Liberty made $ 134.7 million in profit for the year ended June 30, according to accounts filed with the business regulator, on operating revenue of $ 852.3 million . The numbers were up from $ 89 million and $ 811.4 million a year earlier.
Assuming growth continues in fiscal 2021, Liberty would enter the market with expectations of $ 160-170 million in after-tax net income.
Ma and her bankers should ask investors to compare Liberty to banks – and assess it accordingly.
Australian banks are trading at 15.9 times expected earnings for 2021, according to Credit Suisse figures released last Thursday, and 14.2 times expected earnings.
At 13x profit, roughly where shares of ANZ and Westpac are trading, Liberty would be worth just north of $ 2 billion.
At 12 times that would come to $ 2 billion.
Marketing comes only three weeks after Street Talk reported that Liberty had called Credit Suisse and KPMG to get the numbers. (PwC Legal is also working on the prospectus, while Shaw and Partners and E&P are co-managers of the proposed breeding).
Liberty has since filed accounts for fiscal year 2020, which have been signed by Executive Director Ma and Auditor KPMG. The former director of Lendlease and Boral, Richard Longes, is president of Liberty.
Liberty’s run on ASX boards comes after a few attempts over the years. The Australian Financial Review was writing about a potential IPO as early as 2004, when it was labeled a “non-compliant” lender, was advised by Goldman Sachs JBWere and was partly owned by Macquarie.
Liberty’s expects to seek funds to block the first donors for the float within the next fortnight and list in December.