Speculation is back that Chemist Warehouse could be headed for a float, potentially listing in 2019 for more than $8 billion

In late 2017, finance pages were abuzz with speculation that the discount giant could be headed for an ASX listing, following reported discussions with fund managers and investment bankers.

But in March 2018, co-founder and chairman Jack Gance told The Australian’s Eli Greenblat that the company had no interest in an initial public offer (IPO), though it had investigated a range of options.

Instead, it planned to continue seeking growth in Australia and internationally, especially in New Zealand.

“We look at all options but at this stage we have no interest in any public float,” Mr Gance told Mr Greenblat at the time.

Now, the rumours are back.

“Next year could be shaping up as a big one for equity capital markets bankers if the speculation that Chemist Warehouse is on track to head to the markets for a float, valuing the company at more than $8 billion, proves right,” write Bridget Carter and Scott Murdoch, also in The Australian.

“The understanding is that an IPO is back on the cards for 2019 and is shaping up to be the transaction of the year.”

They suggest that Macquarie Capital and Citi investment banks are “likely to be close to the action”.

“Suggestions of an IPO was the talk of its supplier day in Melbourne this month,” they write.