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Buoyant year in the capital raising game

PATERSONS Securities and Euroz Securities have strengthened their position as the top Western Australian broking firms in equity capital raisings.

WA Business News’ 2003 equity capital raisings survey found the overall market enjoyed buoyant growth last year, with Western Australian businesses raising $2.3 billion of new equity, up from $950 million in 2002.

The biggest winners from the boom conditions included local firms Patersons (formerly Paterson Ord Minnett) and Euroz, and national firms UBS, Macquarie and Bell Potter Securities.

Patersons completed the largest number of deals, 48, and raised more capital than nearly all other broking firms, with $271 million.

This was well above the $185 million it raised in 2002.

Euroz completed 20 transactions and raised a total of $195 million, up from $105 million the previous year.

Patersons director corporate finance Aaron Constantine said its 138-strong national dealing desk and its nine-person research team were an integral part of the firm’s success in equity capital raisings, which included seven IPOs.

Patersons is clearly the largest and most successful of the Perth-based broking firms, though it was only a few years ago that it ranked behind Hartley Poynton (as Hartleys was known) and Porter Western (which was bought by Macquarie).

The emergence over the past three years of Euroz, which has the largest institutional dealing team in Perth, illustrates how quickly the industry can change.

Patersons and Euroz face the prospect of more competition from Macquarie, which to date has focussed on larger national deals but is looking to manage smaller capital raisings in the $5 million to $30 million range.

“We are aware there is a gap in the market,” Macquarie Financial Services State manager Graham Crocker said.

“We are exploring how we can be involved in that.”  

Top position in the capital raisings league table went to global firm UBS, on the basis of one very large Western Australian transaction – the Multiplex IPO.

Multiplex shifted its head office to Sydney last year but, given its strong Perth connection, has been included in the table (left).

Its IPO raised $900 million, with a second instalment of $300 million due to be paid later this year.

Macquarie sat in second place in the league table, with six transactions raising a total of $414 million.

Three of the transactions, and most of the dollars raised, were part of Alinta’s Aquila ‘transaction’, also known as project shearwater (see deal of the year, page 12).

Macquarie completed a sell-down of 36 million Alinta shares held by WA Gas Holdings, (which was half owned by US energy utility Aquila), placed eight million new Alinta shares and issued $130 million of innovative ‘hybrid’ securities.

Another innovative Macquarie transaction was the issue of $55 million of transferable reset exchangeable securities, or TREES, for Great Southern Plantations.

Macquarie director David Griffiths said the TREES were the first of this type of instrument to be issued into the market and allowed Great Southern to take advantage of its lowly geared balance sheet and high level of franking credits.

Bell Potter Securities raised more than $80 million for Western Australian businesses, including Boom Logistics, Chemeq and Fleetwood, doubling its contribution from the previous year.

Hartleys dropped down the rankings after submitting only the deals that were transacted after October 20, when its management buyout was completed.

Managing director Richard Simpson said the full year figures would not be of great value, partly because the new “slimmed down” Hartleys was vastly different from its predecessor.

Perhaps more pertinent was that Hartleys’ corporate finance team was focused on the management buyout between early March and late October.

Nevertheless, in the final 10 weeks of the year, Hartleys completed 10 transactions and raised $40 million, which put it ahead of many other brokers.

Another firm dropping down the list was Goldman Sachs JBWere.

In 2003, its sole contribution was joint management of a $63 million placement for Sons of Gwalia.

The league table includes several broking firms that do not have a Perth office but are active in raising capital for small Western Australian companies.

These include Southern Cross Equities, Burdett Buckeridge Young, Intersuisse and Shaw Stockbroking.

The 2003 league table has been expanded to include corporate advisory firms that are also active in raising capital, such as Poynton & Partners and Grange Consulting (see page 17).

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