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Property Exchange Australia mulling A$1B IPO in 2018, CEO says

Marcus Price, CEO of Property Exchange Australia Ltd., or PEXA, said pursuing a potential A$1 billion IPO on the Australian stock exchange is a possible route for the evolving company, The Australian reported.

If pursued, the potential IPO of the online real estate settlement company would be one of the biggest floats to hit the Australian stock exchange in 2018, as deals settled on its online interface near the A$100 billion milestone, according to the paper, adding that its state government backers are open to step back from a technology platform.

But Price clarified that listing is not the only option being considered by the company, which is backed by investors including Australia's big four banks, as well as the state governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

In June, Property Exchange appointed Highbury Partnership to be its adviser amid plans for a possible capital restructuring. Highbury Partnership was tasked to conduct a four-week market review and prepare for various options being considered, including an IPO, a trade sale and a small-scale selldown.

Price said the final decision would depend on what is best for the company and its network. "We want to be regarded in property in the same way the ASX is for shares, that we facilitate property transactions in Australia," Price ended.

PEXA began as the output of a 2010 agreement from the Council of Australian Governments, which aimed to modernize the process of purchasing and selling properties. Now, it handles 30% of all lodgments being done in Australia. According to Price, in five to seven years, the company has the potential to be worth up to A$3 billion, but noted that breaking even is not to be expected until early 2019.