Spotless Said to Price Australia IPO Shares at Bottom of Range

Spotless Group Ltd., the cleaning and catering contractor owned by Pacific Equity Partners Ltd., sold shares in its initial public offering at the bottom end of a marketed range, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The shares were priced at A$1.60 each and investors placed orders for multiple times the amount of stock available to them, said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are private. Spotless and its private equity owners marketed the shares at A$1.60 to A$1.85 each, according to an April 28 statement.

If the maximum number of shares are sold, the offering will raise about A$954 million ($881 million), the people said. That would make it the biggest Australian IPO in more than three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Before Spotless, Australian IPOs had raised A$2 billion this year, more than double the amount a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Pacific Equity Partners agreed in April 2012 to buy Spotless for A$720 million after a five-month takeover battle for the Melbourne-based contractor, which offers corporate services including facilities management, food and cleaning.

The Spotless IPO will be Australia’s largest since rail operator Aurizon Ltd.’s A$4.3 billion offering in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The company was offering 378.5 million to 434.5 million new shares in the deal, while existing shareholders including Pacific Equity Partners were selling 106 million to 162 million shares, according to the prospectus.

Spotless was advised by Highbury Partnership Pty while Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and UBS AG managed the IPO, according to the prospectus. The company’s stock will start trading on May 23.

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