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Dick Smith IPO Value Questioned

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 16/10/2013

Investor warns Dick Smith's impending IPO is risky claims owners are looking to make a quick buck.

Experts today warned investors that there could be risks associated with Anchorage Capital's the new owners of Dick Smith, plans to list the company it purchased just 12 months ago.

"To turn it around in such a short time does make you ask how much has changed," Aberdeen Investment Management head of Australian equities Robert Penaloza told The Australian.

He warned investment firm, Anchorage, will look to capitalise on the success of retail rivals JB Hi-Fi whose share price has risen by almost 10 percent, following improved performance, of late.

JB Hi-Fi is "going from strength to strength, so they want to make hay while the sun shines -- it's the quickest few hundred million they'll ever make", says Penaloza.

Analysts expects an IPO would value the retailer at around $600 million.

Anchorage say they have transformed the Dick Smith business, which it purchased off Woolworths last year for $94 million, revamping its image with retail innovations including Apple and Samsung store-in-stores, opening 30 new Move 'fashtronics' stores, and signing a retail deal with David Jones, all of which are set to ramp up  its bottom line.

"For the amount they paid, they can make money by making some very simple changes and then spinning it off. Whether it would make money is uncertain", the expert warned.  

CEO Nick Aboud regularly spruiks the business, saying its total turnover is $1.3 billion, with no core debt.

Anchorage confirmed last month it was looking at options including an IPO, appointing Macquarie Bank and Goldman Sachs "to evaluate potential options."

Anchorage "is a turnaround-focused investment firm, so given the business is now pursuing a growth agenda and following interest from the investment community, we have commenced working with advisors to evaluate potential options", the company said last month.

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