Australia’s I-MED Radiology pulls $350 mln IPO due to volatility, says source: Reuters

(Reuters) Australia’s largest X-ray provider I-MED Radiology Network cancelled a A$500 million ($350.45 million) initial public offering because of volatility in global markets, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

I-MED’s owner, Swedish private equity firm EQT Holdings AB, pulled the sale of a 50 percent stake in the company after company representatives finished a roadshow in Asia, added the source, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to comment publicly.

The decision to pull the sale came a day after smaller rival Integral Diagnostics priced its IPO at the bottom of a target range of A$133 million to A$157 million, but the catalyst behind EQT’s decision was overall market volatility, said the source.

Australian shares have experienced substantial gyrations in 2015 as concerns about a slowdown in top trading partner China hit commodities prices. Stocks are down 6 percent so far in 2015 and the three months to end-September were their worst quarter in four years.

An I-MED spokeswoman and the bank appointed to advise on the IPO, Rothschild, were not immediately available for comment.

Private equity-backed IPOs have slumped accordingly, to about a quarter of 2014’s record level, as buyout firms consider holding on to their investments or trade sales to sidestep a skittish market.

In June, South African insurer Hollard Group pulled a listing of its Australian unit that sought to raise nearly A$1 billion while New Zealand wood products firm Carter Holt Harvey delayed a dual Australian-New Zealand IPO worth about the same amount because of investor uncertainty.

The biggest Australian listing of the year so far, software maker MYOB Ltd, is trading below its issue price, while fruit and vegetable producer Costa Group Holdings is trading at a 1 percent premium to its issue price.