AFR - Sydney fundie Firetrail outlines $378m pitch for new LIC

The new fund, Firetrail Absolute Return Fund, is seeking buyers for up to 180 million new shares at $2.10 each to raise as much as $378 million.

The offer was subject to a $73.5 million minimum raising, according to a prospectus lodged with the corporate regulator this week, and if successful the fund would start trading on October 31.

The fund’s chairman Deirdre Worth, who was formerly head of Citi’s retail banking and wealth management business in Australia, told potential investors it was a market neutral fund that could appeal to investors looking to diversify their investment portfolio.

Firetrail Absolute Return Fund will be run by Sydney-based fund manager Firetrail Investments, which opened its doors earlier this year.

It is a long short fund which expects to hold 30 to 40 long positions and 20 to 30 short positions. It can hold up to 30 per cent of its assets in securities offshore and up to 10 per cent of its fund can be in pre-IPO investments, according to the prospectus.

The fund is based on the market neutral strategy formerly run by Firetrail’s investment team members when they were employed by Macquarie Investment Management. The team has has run an unlisted Firetrail Absolute Return Fund since March 2018.

The investment team includes ex-Macquarie stockpickers Patrick Hodgens, who is managing director and co-portfolio of the new listed fund, fellow co-portfolio manager James Miller and portfolio manager Blake Henricks. Others named include portfolio manager Matthew Fist and analysts Scott Olsson, Ramoun Lazar and Eleanor Swanson, and head of risk and analytics Justin Gray.

Commsec is on board as lead arranger and joint lead manager, while other JLMs include Wilsons, Ord Minnett, Taylor Collison and Morgans.

Street Talk first reported plans for the new listed investment company last month.

This article was originally written by Sarah Thompson & Anthony Macdonald for The Australian Financial Review.

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