Categories: General

Australian Financial Review: Freedom Insurance, Soprano Design front small-cap investors

With large cap fund managers trying to work out the future of Australia’s complex national electricity market and how the $1.5 billion-plus float of Alinta Group will fare, small cap investors also have a bit to chew on.

First out of the block after reporting season is direct insurance business, Freedom Insurance.

Freedom, which secured $8.4 million in pre-IPO funding in January to help fund its purchase of dealer group Spectrum Wealth Advisers, is set to launch an $80 million initial public offering this half.

The company recorded an 87 per cent increase in 2016 financial year earnings to $7.4million, with sales revenue 58 per cent higher at $30.2 million. It’s also built up a No.2 market share position in funeral insurance, just behind TAL, and brought on 215 new advisers to write business.

Freedom will launch a formal marketing roadshow in early October, sources said.

Joint lead managers Baillieu Holst and Bell Potter Securities are expected to spruik Freedom’s plans post listing to develop a mortgage insurance product in the same sector where chief executive Keith Cohen and his management team have had significant experience and success.

Cohen helped to found Australian Life Insurance, which at the time was the biggest distributor of mortgage protection insurance in Australia.

Street Talk can also reveal Sydney-based tech specialist Soprano Design will step up this half with a $150 million initial public offering as it seeks to expand its Mobile Enterprise Messaging Solution (MEMS) product into new markets.

There’s a good track record with the firm having rolled out MEMS, a secure mobile messaging capability, across hundreds of healthcare centres for Britain’s National Health Service centres late last year.

The platform now facilitates more than 20 million messages a month between healthcare workers and patients.

Soprano Design, run by chief executive Horden Wiltshire, hung out its shingle in 1994. Investment bank UBS is managing the ASX listing, sources said.

Finally, law firm owner Qantm Intellectual Property Ltd will hit the ASX boards on Wednesday.

Priced at $2.22 and raising $146 million from investors, its listing follows the successful IPOs of IPH and Xenith IP.