Bain-backed MYOB to file for $2.3 billion Australia IPO by end-March: sources

By Byron Kaye SYDNEY (Reuters) - Bankers running the expected A$3 billion ($2.29 billion) initial public offering of Australian software firm MYOB Ltd, owned by Bain Capital, plan to file a prospectus for the sale by end-March, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Domestic advisor Reunion Capital Partners and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs [GSGSC.UL] and UBS plan to run a bookbuild after lodging the prospectus with regulators, the people said on Monday. The people are working on the deal, expected to be one of Australia's biggest IPOs this year, but asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. Lodging a prospectus would confirm U.S. private equity giant Bain's faith in the Australian share market for its first major asset ownership sale in the country. Bain had kept its options open for cutting its MYOB investment, including the possibility of a trade sale. Bain, which paid A$1.2 billion for MYOB in 2011, plans to keep a significant portion of the tech firm, one of people said. While likely to be a marquee deal for Australia this year, the listing is likely to be far smaller than last year's biggest IPO, the A$5.7 billion sale of health insurer Medibank Private Ltd. Australia in 2014 had its biggest-ever year for new listings, with $15 billion raised in IPOs, as company owners, including private equity firms, focused on a buoyant share market for offloading assets. But IPO activity has been subdued so far in 2015, echoing investors' caution amid unfavorable macroeconomic factors like slowing Chinese growth, sliding commodity prices and an imminent U.S. rate hike. The Australian benchmark index has fallen 3.5 percent since March 3. MYOB was not immediately available for comment. A Bain spokesperson was also not immediately available for comment. ($1 = 1.3123 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates and Kenneth Maxwell)