21/12/2012 - 12:50

Austal raising falls flat with shareholders

21/12/2012 - 12:50


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Austal raising falls flat with shareholders
The second joint high speed vessel being rolled out from Austal's assembly bay in Henderson in October. (Photo: Austal)

Henderson-based shipbuilder Austal has fallen $14 million short of its target for the retail component of a $78 million capital raising completed today.

Austal said today it had tapped retail investors for $11 million, after announcing in November it was seeking $25 million from a 9-for-10 entitlements offer.

The company's largest shareholder, Allan Gray Australia Pty Ltd, pitched in $2 million at the same terms, while Austal raised $65 million from institutional investors last month to take the total capital raise to $78 million.

The company was originally seeking a total of $86 million.

Despite falling short of the raising's maximum target, Mr Bellamy said the funds placed Austal in a strong position to pursue its growth strategy.

Austal has a record order book and improving profitability, and these funds enable us to optimise our balance sheet, providing the financial flexibility to implement and capitalise on the restructure initiatives from our strategic review,” he said.

Austal's financial performance is trending in the right direction, and this additional balance sheet strength gained from the capital raising and recent sale from one of our stock boats ensures we can derive sustained value from the growth platform we now have in place, particularly from our major defence vessel contracts in the US and Australia.”

Also today, Austal confirmed it will build the final high speed combat under a 10-ship, $US1.6 billion deal with the US Navy.

Austal said the extension was worth approximately $166 million, with the ship was to be completed by June 2017.

Mr Bellamy said Austal would focus its efforts on improving efficiency with all ten joint high speed vessels fully funded.

Austal delivered the first ship under the contract to the US Navy earlier this month.

The shipbuilder also holds a further 10-ship, $US3.5 billion deal to deliver shallow water combat ships to the US Navy, under which five vessels are currently under contract.

At 12:20PM, WST, Austal shares were up 4.5 per cent, trading at 58 cents. Prior to the capital raising announcement in November, the company's stock was trading around $1.02.





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