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Tech Pacific in float talks with UBS

Tech Pacific in float talks with UBS

Australian distribution giant, Tech Pacific, is holding float talks with investment bank UBS, a move that could potentially pave the way for a public offering.

The listing of the $3 billion company would support growth in Asia, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review last week, and see the departure of venture capital investor, CVC Asia Pacific.

Tech Pacific chief executive, Shailendra Gupta, confirmed talks were taking place but played them down as routine process.

"At the moment it's all speculation," he said. "It doesn't mean the company is doing an [initial public offering] IPO, but you can never rule it out."

CVC owned a number of companies in its portfolio, Gupta said, and continually reviewed its financial outlook.

A recent interim report from Tech Pacific's other holding company, Dutch-based Hagemeyer, confirmed it had been notified of a possible float or trade sale to a strategic buyer.

"In either case this would lead to Hagemeyer selling down or disposing (part of) its stake as well," the report said.

While general discussions with UBS are underway, Gupta said Tech Pacific could afford to fund its own growth thanks to strong operating cash flow. The company reported a 23 per cent boost in the local Australian market during its last financial year, achieving $1.4 billion in sales across Australia and New Zealand.

Sweet spots, according to Gupta, included the expansion of its digital home portfolio, security, storage, notebooks and wireless technology.

A swelling of reseller numbers had also fuelled Australian growth, he said.

The company had about 9000 on the books today, he claimed, but would look to add another 500 in the next year.


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