Evolve Education confirms IPO to raise up to $130 million in NZX/ASX dual listing

Childcare rollup includes Lollipops and Porse Group.

Newly-created childcare conglomerate Evolve Education Group has confirmed a prospectus for an upcoming initial public offer will be lodged on Friday, or thereabouts.

The offer will be available to New Zealand and Australian resident clients of New Zealand and Australian brokers who receive an allocation from Evolve, as well as to institutional investors in these countries and other selected jurisdictions, the company said in a statement at midday.

 There will be no general public offer.

The funds raised through the offer will be used to acquire Lollipops Educare, Porse Group and other early childhood education businesses, Evolve said.

NBR ONLINE understands 85 childcare centres will be acquired, including Wellington-based I-Kids and Christchurch-based Artemis Early Learning.

Shell company Evolve was set up for this purpose in May by Greg Kern and Russell Daly of Queensland-based Kern Group.

No money is currently being sought and no applications for shares will be accepted or money received unless the subscriber has received an investment statement, the company said.

The confirmation comes after an NBR ONLINE report on Thursday, in which an industry source said the institutional bookbuild is likely to happen at the end of this week, with the company hoping to raise about $135 million.

The company is understood to be selling about 75% of its shares, with a market capitalisation of $200 million. A dual listing on the ASX and NZX is likely either in the last week of November our the first week of December, the source said.

Evolve’s forecasted 2015 year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation is thought to be between $27-29 million, with it seeking a valuation of 10-times earnings.

Brokers Forsyth Barr and Goldman Sachs are managing the float.