(Add analyst comments, closing price, background)
July 1 (Reuters) – Shares of online real estate company PEXA Group Ltd opened at A $ 17 when they debuted on the market, below the IPO price of A $ 17.13 and reached a valuation of A $ 3.01 billion ($ 2.25 billion) in Australia’s largest listing this year.
Shares of the Melbourne-based company fell as low as 4.3% during the session, before recovering losses to close slightly higher at A $ 17.15.
“It was never going to be the most attractive stock, it was priced relatively good and bookkeepers were pretty tight,” said Henry Jennings, senior analyst for independent stock market newsletter Marcus Today.
A broadly austere view of the market due to lockdowns caused by the pandemic in Australia also weighed on sentiment, Jennings said.
PEXA, whose online exchange processes more than 300,000 transactions per month, derives most of its money from property transfer fees and refinancing loans.
It has benefited from soaring house prices thanks to record lending rates and government incentives, making it a target of takeover bids this year, especially from the capital firm. KKR & Co. investment
Link Administration Holdings Ltd, the largest shareholder of the online real estate company, had also presented several offers which analysts said were motivated by interest in PEXA.
PEXA reported a more than 48% increase in fourth-quarter transaction volumes earlier Thursday, and an outage the day before that prevented users from signing in for almost two hours, which was resolved later.
âThe temporary blackoutâ¦ didn’t help the volumes and it’s not very nice if you’re one of the bigger floats this year,â Jennings said.
PEXA, which plans to enter the UK as early as next year, had also published a replacement prospectus in which it noted that its ambition to expand overseas was based on its experience of the domestic market. ($ 1 = A $ 1.3358) (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan, Shashwat Awasthi and Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Shounak Dasgupta)