Chapman Tripp advises Kathmandu in one of the largest IPOs since 2005

Leading outdoor equipment and clothing retailer Kathmandu has launched the prospectus for its initial public offering (IPO) of shares, ahead of its planned dual primary listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZSX) and Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Chapman Tripp is advising Kathmandu on the IPO, which is expected to raise somewhere in the vicinity of NZ$338.6–457.2 million.

The owners will offer shares for between approximately NZ$2.01 and $2.32 each (the exact price will be set at the conclusion of an institutional bookbuild), with the shares being offered to institutional investors, brokers and eligible employees.

There will be no general public offer but small retail investors can get an allocation of shares from brokers involved in the float. The 22-year-old business expects to list in both New Zealand and Australia on November 18.

Newly appointed chairman James Strong, who is also chairman of Woolworths and Insurance Australia Group, said: “We believe a dual listing will provide Kathmandu with growth flexibility and give investors the opportunity to own shares in a very well-recognised retail brand...”

Chapman Tripp Partner John Strowger says, “The IPO is good news for both Kathmandu and the New Zealand capital markets as a whole.  Kathmandu will have greater access to equity to enable it to continue to expand (both in New Zealand and abroad) and build upon its strong brand, whilst the IPO is yet another indicator of some return of confidence to the New Zealand economy."

Kathmandu, which has a chain of 82 stores across Australia, New Zealand and Britain, plans to open 12 new stores in New Zealand and Australia this financial year.

Goldman Sachs JBWere and Quadrant led a $NZ275 million leveraged buyout of the Christchurch-based Kathmandu from founder Jan Cameron in 2006.  Chapman Tripp acted for Goldman Sachs JBWere and Quadrant during this acquisition, and has provided legal services to Kathmandu since.

In the last three years, the new owners have invested more than $NZ30 million in expanding the brand and opening new stores.

Chapman Tripp Partner Hamish Foote says, “We have watched Kathmandu grow since we assisted Goldman Sachs JBWere and Quadrant acquire the business back in 2006.  The IPO represents the next chapter in Kathmandu’s successful operations and we are sure that the publicly listed company will continue to clothe and equip outdoor enthusiasts and everyday Kiwis with quality products.” 

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