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Trade Me set for end of year float

$NZ300m under Fairfax’s Xmas tree?

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Fairfax Media’s partial float of dotcom asset Trade Me may be on the cards before the end of the year according to industry reports out of New Zealand.

Fairfax confirmed in August that it intended to float up to 35% of the online auction site in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) possibly on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. Now, National Business Review says the float is likely sooner rather than later.

The trans-Tasman media group hoped to raise between $NZ350 million and $NZ525 million based on mid year market valuations of the eBay-esque asset.

The successful online site was acquired by Fairfax in 2007 for around $NZ750 million from entrepreneur Sam Morgan.

Trade Me has been variously mooted to be valued at around NZ$1.7 billion based on 2.7 million active users that list around 5.5 million auctions per month.

UBS - the lead manager of the float - values Trade Me at between $NZ966 million and $1.1 billion. The current valuation excludes $NZ166 million in debt but is still markedly lower than initial anticipated revenue. ®

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