$220m retail IPO bucks trends

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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised on the successful $220m IPO of home wares retail giant, Adairs.

Adairs, which operates 131 retail stores in Australia, listed on the ASX on 17 June with a market capitalisation of $400m at the offer price.
Prior to the listing, the firm advised Adairs on its corporate restructure and refinancing, separating Adairs from a partner business, Dusk.

The whole operation was headed up by Herbert Smith Freehills partner, Richard Loveridge.

“We had to separate out Dusk from Adairs Group and then there were some financing structures that had to been in place under private equity ownership,” he said.  “They were to be dismantled through the IPO process and there was also a bank debt refinancing that occurred in order to prepare the Adairs for listing,” he said.

Loveridge predicted continued IPO activity for the remainder of this year.

“We hear a lot that retail is having its share of difficulties in the market but here we have a retail business that is going very strongly and has been particularly well received by investors,” he said.  “I think the market has still got an appetite for good businesses and so I do think we will continue to see a steady stream of good businesses coming to the market.”

Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Ltd and UBS, AG, Australia Branch acted as joint lead manager and underwriter on the offering.

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