ComfortDelGro looking to float Australian unit by year end

ComfortDelGro operates in six states and territories in Australia. PHOTOS: COMFORTDELGRO

SINGAPORE - Singapore-listed transport group ComfortDelGro Corp is looking to float its wholly owned Australian subsidiary by the end of the year.

The group, which posted an interim net profit of $91 million for the period ended June 30, said in a statement on Monday (Aug 16) that ComfortDelGro Corp Australia will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

ComfortDelGro said the move was intended to "unlock the value of the group's significant land transport business assets in Australia".

The Australian unit has some $1.23 billion in non-current assets.

A two-week roadshow was conducted in June to introduce the Australian transport business to investors. The initial public offering (IPO) will exclude the group's cab business in Perth.

ComfortDelGro chairman Lim Jit Poh said the Australian unit is now 16 years old and "has been a significant contributor to the Australian public transport scene".

"We believe the time is now right to share this Australian growth story with Australian investors."

ComfortDelGro's operations are present in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin. The group has appointed Credit Suisse Australia and UBS Australia as the IPO managers.

The exercise is subject to prevailing market conditions and relevant approvals, and should be completed before the year end if all goes well.

ComfortDelGro operates in six states and territories in Australia - New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Canberra, Northern Territory and Queensland - with a total fleet of about 4,400 buses, coaches and ambulances.

With a total investment of $1.17 billion to date, Australia is now the group's single largest overseas operation.

For the year ended last Dec 31, the Australian businesses generated revenue of $608 million.

ComfortDelGro said it will release more details on the proposed listing "when there are material developments".

When asked if it would do the same for its other overseas units, the Singapore-headquartered group said: "We are constantly reviewing our businesses and portfolio and, where it makes sense, will look at the various options available to maximise returns on our investments."

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