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Inghams Said to Consider $1 Billion IPO Alternative

Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd., the Australian poultry producer that put itself up for sale in July, is considering an initial public offering to raise more than A$1 billion ($1 billion), said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Inghams has asked banks to submit proposals for an IPO this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Australia’s biggest poultry producer hired Investec Plc to find a buyer after its sole shareholder Bob Ingham decided to sell the business, it said July 16. The company is still being advised by Investec, the people said.

The offering would be the largest in Sydney since Aurizon Holdings Ltd., the rail company formerly known as QR National Ltd., raised A$4.05 billion in November 2010. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which has gained 17 percent in the past six months, yesterday reached its highest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in Sept. 2008.

“Inghams has not made a decision in relation to an IPO and is still in discussions regarding the sale process,” John Hexton, director of group services at Inghams said in an e-mailed statement. The Australian Financial Review reported the potential share sale earlier today.

Inghams, based in Sydney, was started by Bob Ingham’s grandfather with a rooster and six hens in 1918 in Sydney’s western suburbs. With A$2 billion in annual sales last year, it employs 8,000 people across Australia and New Zealand, according to its website. Bob Ingham has been the sole shareholder since his brother Jack died in 2007.

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