Baker & McKenzie advised on the recent IPO of Babcock & Brown Capital Limited (B&B). The new investment entity was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 14 February, having successfully raised its target of $1 billion of capital. Partners Steven Glanz and David Holland led the Bakers team, with the assistance of senior associate Julie Hutton.
“The $1 billion capital raising was a landmark deal in the domestic market, being the largest investment vehicle raising to date in Australia,” Glanz said. “In addition to the preparation of the prospectus and some complex material contracts, it involved sorting through a number of difficult issues with the ASX, within an extremely tight deadline of two to three weeks. Matters of this nature generally take around two months to complete.”
He said B&B’s decision to list “a couple of weeks before Christmas” had exacerbated the deadline, “but we pressed the button and we did it — that’s unusual for any sort of IPO even before you allow for the size of this one.” Within that time frame, the Bakers team had to get past the hurdle of the ASX’s general reluctance to list “vehicles that don’t have any business” and are simply raising cash. “They want the public to know what they are investing in. We had to get them to revise their policies and be comfortable with what we were preparing,” Glanz said. This involved preparing a submission and working with the ASX towards their acceptance of the concept. ASX agreed to list B&B as an investment company, and will eventually revert to a more traditional categorisation, to reflect the company’s interests.