Caitlin Fitzsimmons Online editor

Caitlin covers social media, marketing and technology and is BRW's social media editor. She has worked as a journalist in Sydney, London and San Francisco, writing for titles including The Guardian and The Australian Financial Review.

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Freelancer IPO opens, with fund manager Caledonia on board

Published 22 October 2013 11:01, Updated 23 October 2013 07:19

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Freelancer IPO opens, with fund manager Caledonia on board

Caledonia, previously lauded by Freelancer.com founder Matt Barrie as one of a select group of Australian funds managers to “get” technology, will be a cornerstone investor in his $15 million float. Photo: Sasha Woolley

Fund manager Caledonia is taking a $3 million stake in the initial public offering for online employment marketplace Freelancer.com, which opened on Tuesday morning.

Caledonia chief investment officer Will Vicars told BRW the firm had applied for $3 million in shares, representing 20 per cent of the public float.

“I can confirm we are an investor and hopefully we’ll be a very happy one,” Vicars says. “It’s an interesting company.”

Caledonia was the global investment manager that introduced James Packer to US-based real estate website Zillow. Caledonia has a 16.05 per cent stake in Zillow and Packer and associated entities have 9.3 per cent.

Freelancer’s regional director for Australia and New Zealand, Nikki Parker, described Caledonia as a “cornerstone investor”. “We’re very excited,” Parker says.

Freelancer, the online freelance work marketplace headed by BRW Young Rich lister Matt Barrie, is floating on the Australian Securities Exchange after Barrie knocked back an offer to buy the company outright.

The company is aiming for a market capitalisation of $218 million, off projected 2013 profit of $417,000, a price-earnings ratio that Barrie has defended in an interview with BRW.

Only a small part of the company is being floated publicly, with the three directors controlling 87 per cent between them and a further parcel earmarked for the employee share scheme.

Parker says aside from Caledonia there was also “intense interest” from the industry in general and “all different types of investors”.

The Freelancer prospectus, released last week, says the IPO will close on November 15 but Parker says the dates are not final.

Parker says share allocation will be at the discretion of the board if the IPO is over-subscribed.

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