The New Zealand sharemarket may get a new addition in the form of the country's biggest equipment rental company, Hirepool, in the first half of this year, says a well-placed financial market source.
The source, in confirming a report published in the Australian Financial Review, said the new listing would have a market capitalisation of about $300 million.
He said Hirepool, which is ultimately owned by mid-sized Sydney-based private equity company Next Capital, had hired Deutsche Bank/Craigs Investment Partners, Macquarie Capital and UBS to manage an initial public offer and NZX listing.
Another market source said much would depend on how many shares Next Capital was willing to sell down.
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Its subsidiary, the New Zealand Rental Group - which owns Hirepool - bought rival company Hirequip and merged the two last year.
HireQuip, which has had several different owners over the past few years and which had a brief stint as an NZX-listed stock in 2005-06, went into receivership in July 2012. It had a strong South Island presence - particularly in Christchurch, where demand for hire equipment has been strong since the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
Next Capital, which has about A$600 million ($635.9 million) in funds under management, also owns Onsite, Australia's second-biggest hire equipment firm. The private equity company specialises in providing buy-out funding for small- to medium-growth businesses, typically valued between A$50 million and A$200 million, says its website.
There were 10 new listings on the NZX last year, among them Mighty River Power, Synlait Milk and Z Energy. The market is preparing for the float of the Genesis Energy, which is expected to list on April 17. Several more new listings are expected this year if the market stays buoyant.
One industry insider said the equipment hire sector is highly cyclical and still in need of consolidation in New Zealand. Kennards, an Australian family-owned equipment hire firm, expanded by acquiring Auckland's McEntee Hire in 2012.