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Largest IPO of the year hits the ASX

Largest IPO of the year hits the ASX

Grant Koch, DLA Piper

The keenly anticipated public listing of Link Group on the ASX was announced yesterday, with a market cap of $2.3 billion.

Firms: DLA Piper and Allen & Overy (Link Group); Allens (Citi, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Capital and UBS).

Deal: Link Group’s ASX-listed IPO went public yesterday on the Australian stock market.

Value: $2.3 billion

Area: Equity capital markets

Key players: The DLA Piper team was led by the firm’s head of private equity, Grant Koch (pictured), and equity capital markets specialist partner Catherine Merity. Senior associates Tim Perry and Rosa Sayer, as well as lawyers Abhinav Yarrapoto and Rube Uthayakumar, also worked on the deal.

The A&O team was led by partner Tony Sparks, with support from partner Jamie Palmer and associates Jonathan Teo, Fayzan Bakhtiar, Connell O’Neill, Ban-Ya Yim and Keara Stretton.

The Allens team was led by partners Julian Donnan (pictured) and Stuart McCulloch.

Deal significance: The launch of Link Group is expected to be one of Australia's largest IPOs this year, with early reports putting its value at $946 million.

Since its public offering on the ASX yesterday, it far exceeded initial estimates with a market cap of $2.3 billion.

DLA Piper acted for Private Equity Partners (PEP) on its initial AU$136 million acquisition of Link in 2005, and has worked closely with Link Group since that time, advising on more than 30 acquisitions, investments and disposals over the last 10 years as the business has grown to an enterprise value of $2.6 billion.

DLA Piper head of private equity Grant Koch said: "We're delighted to have advised Link Group on what is the signature ECM transaction of 2015 in the Australian market. Today's listing on the ASX represents a significant milestone for Link Group, its management team, PEP, ICG and the group's other key stakeholders."

The transaction also involved DLA Piper offices in Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Middle East, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and the UK.

Citi, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Capital and UBS were the joint lead managers, as confirmed by A&O.

A&O lead partner Tony Sparks said: “Being able to execute this transaction in current volatile markets shows that investors are still receptive to quality issuers with well-structured offers.”

Partner and co-head of Allens’ capital market practice Julian Donnan said the Link IPO, along with the recent IPO of Aventus Property Group, showed there were positive signs for the capital raising market in Australia.

“Both IPOs are significant and are strong evidence that, despite recent volatility, the capital markets remain robust for issuers with a strong underlying business,” he said.

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