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Lawyers lead IPO survey

PERTH law firm Steinepreis Paganin worked on more Initial Public Offerings last year than any other law firm in the country, a national survey has found.

Connect4’s annual IPO survey also highlighted the rapid growth in the IPO market, with a total of 107 floats announced during 2003, up from 70 in the previous year.

Other Perth law firms to rank highly in the survey were Blakiston & Crabb and Price Sierakowski.

Perth accountants also featured in Connect4’s IPO survey.

The top five accountants included local firm Stanton Partners and national firm PKF, with most of PKF’s transactions sourced from its Perth office.

The large number of small mining floats helped the high ranking of the Perth-based law firms and accounting firms.

Connect4 said nearly half of all floats sought to raise $5 million or less. While the number of mining floats was down on 2002 levels, this sector still accounted for one third of all floats.

Promoters of small floats tend to be very cost conscious, which also helps the second-tier firms.

Steinepreis Paganin worked on 11 floats (up from five in 2002) and raised a total of $32 million.

These included the floats of Ritract, Westcoast Mining, Gleneagle Gold, Hannans Reward, Prosperity Resources and Siberia Mining.

Steinepreis Paganin partner Roger Steinepreis said he was very pleased with the result. 

“Our firm endeavours to assist clients in achieving their corporate objectives in an efficient and cost effective manner,” he said. “Our processes have been developed and fine tuned to the point where we know we can make it happen in a defined time frame to suit the client.”

As well as IPOs, Steinepreis Paganin worked on several other corporate transactions last year.

This included recapitalisations, capital raisings by Western Areas, Xanadu Wines and Crown Diamonds, and the merger of International Goldfields and Hamill Resources

Blakiston & Crabb ranked second in the survey, with nine IPOs raising a total of $45 million.

Examples included Medec, Navigator Resources, Berkeley Resources, Nickel Australia and the current float of Colltech Australia.

Price Sierakowski worked on five floats, including Comdek, Cazaly Resources and Discovery Nickel.

In terms of dollars raised, the top law firm was Freehills, which worked on seven floats, raising $3.3 billion.

Mallesons worked on eight floats raising $2.9 billion, including the $1.2 billion Mutliplex IPO.

Among the accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG were ranked equal first with 13 floats.

However, PwC worked on much larger transactions, raising a total of $5.3 billion compared with KPMG’s $2.8 billion.

They were followed by Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PKF, which worked on eight IPOs.

PKF’s Perth office managed six of these, including Boom Logistics, Aspen Group, Cougar Metals and Westcoast Mining.

The Perth office also worked on the listing of CustomVis on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, which raised GBP11.5 million ($26 million).

Stanton Partners ranked fifth in the Connect4 survey, having worked on seven floats worth $19 million.

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