DOMAIN DEBUTS ON ASX AS A $2 BILLION COMPANY

DOMAIN DEBUTS ON ASX AS A $2 BILLION COMPANY

REAL estate news site Domain (ASX: DHG) has begun trading on the ASX as a standalone company, with a market value of $2.1 billion.

Chief Executive of the company Antony Catalano rang the bell at the ASX yesterday to mark the start of trade in the stock which opened at $3.80.

"This is a historic day for Domain and the Fairfax group," says Catalano at the Australian stock exchange in Sydney.

"This is the most nervous I've ever been in my life."

The group, a spinoff of Fairfax Media (ASX: FXJ), issued 575 million shares on its first day, wrapping up its first day on the market with a capitalisation of $2.1 billion.

"Domain is going to have its own life free of corporate Fairfax which it will enjoy," says Catalano.

"It will be subject to a level of discipline in the way it operates the business, which I believe it will also enjoy or learn to enjoy."

Shares in the group closed at $3.69, their lowest point, having hit a high of $3.98 earlier in the day.

As Domain was spun off, ex-parent company Fairfax Media saw its value fall, with shares down 31 per cent to 73.5 cents per share.

Under the separation plan, Fairfax retains 60 per cent of Domain, while shareholders will claim the remaining 40 per cent.

Fairfax has been plotting to spinoff Domain and other assets since US private equity firms TPG and Hellman & Friedman dropped out of bidding for the publishing group in July.

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