Firm advises on $330m trans-Tasman IPO

Aussie and NZ branches of a major firm have teamed up to advise on the IPO of a trans-Tasman company with an enterprise value of over $330m.

Vitaco Holdings Limited is a company that was born in 2007 out of a merger between Australian company, Nutra-Life, and New Zealand company, Healtheries.

So it makes sense that the company has utilised a firm with both an Australian and New Zealand practice – Minter Ellison and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts – to advise on its initial public offering and associated listing the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

A copy of the prospectus for the IPO was lodged with ASIC last Monday, with shares representing approximately 80 percent of Vitaco's issued capital being offered at A$2.10 per share, implying an enterprise value of over A$330 million. 

The shares are scheduled to being trading on the ASX from 16 September, on a deferred settlement basis.

On completion of the IPO, the current majority owners of the Vitaco Group business – funds managed by Next Capital – are expected to hold 15.3% of the shares on issue, with management retaining a 1.1% post-IPO interest in Vitaco.

The Minter Ellison teams advised Vitaco on all legal aspects of the IPO and listing, including legal due diligence investigations, regulatory requirements, an intra-group reorganisation and a renegotiation of the Vitaco Group's existing debt facilities.

The Australian team was led by partners Daniel Scotti and Glen Sauer, supported by senior associates Nicole Sloggett and Jacqueline How, associate Anna De Navi and lawyers Reiteke Grosser and Daniel Ezekiel.

The firm has advised Next Capital in connection with its investments in Australia and New Zealand for a number of years.

The New Zealand team was led by partners Mark Forman, Cathy Quinn and Tom Fail, supported by senior associate Steve Gallaugher and consultant Harriet Blackburn.

The company gave the Financial Markets Authority notice of opting in to the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 earlier this month, effective from tomorrow.

“The IPO was executed on an extremely tight timetable and required seamless coordination and collaboration between Next Capital, Vitaco, MinterEllison, the joint lead managers, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup, financial adviser, Intrinsic Partners, and PricewaterhouseCoopers,” Minter Ellison partner Daniel Scotti said.

“Such coordination and collaboration resulted in a terrific outcome for Vitaco. We congratulate Next Capital and Vitaco's management team, led by Ryan d'Almeida, on this milestone transaction."

Vitaco’s portfolio encompasses a host of well-known nutritional product brands alongside Healtheries and Nutra-Life, including Musashi, Aussie Bodies, Wagner and Balance.

The listing comes hot on the heels of great success of Australian vitamin and supplement company Blackmores.

The company’s market value has soared to nearly $1.9b, attributed to rapidly rising sales to China, which helped Blackmores achieve an 83 per cent profit growth in 2014/15.

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