PropertyGuru eyeing $378m IPO in Australia: Sources

PropertyGuru Group has appointed (clockwise from left) Olivier Lim as independent chairman as well as Jenny Macdonald and Melanie Wilson as independent non-executive directors to its board.
PropertyGuru Group has appointed (clockwise from left) Olivier Lim as independent chairman as well as Jenny Macdonald and Melanie Wilson as independent non-executive directors to its board.PHOTOS: PROPERTYGURU

Online realtor also announces three new board appointments as four directors retire

South-east Asian online realtor PropertyGuru Group, which counts buyout firms TPG Capital and KKR among its backers, is targeting an Australian initial public offering (IPO), which could raise up to A$400 million (S$378.4 million) this year, sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters yesterday.

Senior officials from the Singapore-based company, which operates real estate portals in the region, will start meeting Australian investors within the next few weeks before starting their pitches to Asian and United States investors, two sources said.

An external spokesman for PropertyGuru said: "We are considering a number of funding and strategic options, but no decision has been made at this time."

PropertyGuru has appointed UBS and Credit Suisse as joint lead managers for the IPO. Both banks declined to comment.

Meanwhile, PropertyGuru Group yesterday announced it had appointed Mr Olivier Lim as independent chairman, as well as Ms Jenny Macdonald and Ms Melanie Wilson as independent non-executive directors to its board. This comes as four directors - including company co-founder Jani Rautiainen, who continues to be a shareholder - retire from the board.

The appointments of Mr Lim, Ms Macdonald and Ms Wilson are part of a broader exercise to evolve the property technology company's corporate governance in tandem with its growth trajectory and the increasing scale of its business, PropertyGuru said.

Mr Lim is chairman of Certis Cisco and Frasers Property Australia. He serves on the board of directors of DBS Bank, and on the board of trustees of Singapore Management University, among others. Previously, he was chairman of property group Australand.

Ms Macdonald will head PropertyGuru's audit and risk committee. She used to be a chief financial officer and has considerable experience in marketplace businesses, PropertyGuru said. She is now a director on the boards of companies, including Bapcor, an Australia-listed provider of automotive aftermarket parts, and Redbubble, a global online marketplace based in Melbourne and San Francisco.

Ms Wilson will chair the group's nomination and remuneration committee. She has years of experience as a director for consumer-oriented businesses, and sits on the boards of Australian nursery retailer Baby Bunting, insurance and utilities comparison website iSelect, and payments solutions provider EML Payments, among other firms.

Other than the three new appointments, the board now also comprises co-founder and executive director Steve Melhuish, chief executive officer and executive director Hari Krishnan, three non-executive directors - Mr Dominic Picone, Mr Terence Lee and Mr Paul Bassat - as well as Mr Ganen Sarvananthan as adviser to the board.

Separately, in July, the company appointed industry veteran Tan Tee Khoon as country manager for Singapore. Dr Tan left Knight Frank Singapore in June, where he was a key executive officer of agency arm KF Property Network and head of residential project marketing.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2019, with the headline 'PropertyGuru eyeing $378m IPO in Australia: Sources'. Print Edition | Subscribe