By Paulina Duran
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Macquarie Group is preparing to list its majority-owned software provider Nuix in a deal that would value the data-analysis program seller at close to $1.5 billion, two sources with knowledge of the plans told Reuters on Friday.
Macquarie, which owns about 65% of the company that has been used to analyse thousands of documents as part of high-profile investigations such as Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and the “Panama Papers” cases, is handling the process alongside Morgan Stanley, the sources said.
The people, who asked to be anonymous because they were not allowed to speak to the media, said the company was likely to list before Christmas, but plans depended on market conditions and had not been finalised, they said.
Media representatives for Macquarie and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Nuix representatives were not immediately available for comment outside business hours.
A selected group of fund managers have been briefed on the plans, the two people and a third source said.
If achieved at the targeted valuation range of between A$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) and A$2 billion, the listing will be the biggest since fintech firm Tyro Payments braved negative market sentiment late last year following six initial public offering (IPO) cancellations.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic has all but frozen large IPOs in the country, as the halt in economic activity led to plummeting revenues and valuations of Australian companies, hurting sentiment and leading many to shore up their balance sheets with secondary capital raisings.
Customers include American Express Co, Barclays Plc, Amazon.com Inc, WPP Plc, and Unilever Plc, according to its website.
The company’s revenue has grown at over 15% per year in the last two years, to about A$175 million in fiscal 2020, one of the sources said.
(Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by David Evans)