(Adds details of listing preparations)
SYDNEY, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Australia’s Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) is in early stage preparations to list the country’s No.2 cinema chain The Hoyts Group in a sale that would value it around A$900 million ($807.39 million), a source familiar with the deal told Reuters.
The sale would continue a bumper year for the country’s largest private equity firm, which has so far been responsible for two of the year’s biggest listings with caterer-cleaner Spotless Group Ltd and toilet paper and tampon maker Asaleo Care Ltd.
PEP has not decided how much of Hoyts, which has 450 screens in Australia and New Zealand, it will sell and has not decided the pricing or timing of the sale, said the source, who was not authorised to comment publicly as the IPO was not finalised.
The buyout specialist has hired investment bank UBS AG to conduct a non-deal roadshow in Australia and Asia to explain the company, which also has cinema and outdoor advertising units, and gauge investor interest, the source said.
The sale, if it values Hoyts at A$900 million, would represent a doubling of PEP’s initial investment after it bought the company from a consortium involving Australian casino billionaire James Packer for A$440 million in 2007.
PEP management could not be immediately reached for comment.
1 US dollar = 1.1147 Australian dollar Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Ryan Woo