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Australia gov't to sell biggest health insurer via an initial public offering

SYDNEY--The conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday said it would press ahead with the sale of Australia's largest health insurer Medibank Private via an initial public offering.

Medibank welcomed the announcement which reports said could value the provider at up to AU$4 billion (US$3.7 billion).

“Subject to market conditions, Medibank Private will be sold through an initial public offering in the 2014-15 financial year,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said, with the proceeds going towards infrastructure projects.

Cormann refused to comment on the amount the sale would generate, and said the precise timing and structure of the IPO were yet to be determined.

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