14/12/2007 - 10:46

Neptune raises $61m, Sea Struct acquisition on track

14/12/2007 - 10:46

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Emerging from a trading halt today, engineering services group Neptune Marine Services Ltd has raised $61 million to primarily fund the acquisitions of Ross Deeptech Initiatives Ltd and Sea-Struct businesses.

Emerging from a trading halt today, engineering services group Neptune Marine Services Ltd has raised $61 million to primarily fund the acquisitions of Ross Deeptech Initiatives Ltd and Sea-Struct businesses.

Neptune also confirmed that the proposed acquisition of Fremantle-based Sea-Struct for $17 million, announced in October, remained on track despite the timing of the settlement being "slightly delayed" due to legal due diligence matters.

Neptune's acquisition of Scottish company Ross Deeptech Initiatives for $25 million in cash, also announced in October, has taken the number of Neptune acqusitions in the past 18 months to eight.

Neptune managing director and chief executive Christian Lange said the very strong level of support for the recent placement was a ringing endorsement of its strategy for growth.

The company successfully completed a placement of 64.2 million shares at 95 cents each to institutional and sophisticated investors, to fund the acqusitions and for working capital.

"Neptune is rapidly evolving into a global oil & gas services business, and the funds raised from this placement will enable us to establish a presence in the lucrative North Sea oil & gas market through Ross Deeptech. This is a sizeable market with significant growth prospects for Neptune," he said.

"We are also strengthening our Australian operations through the proposed acquisition of Sea Struct, and our planned investment in ROVs brings a new service line to the group."

The first tranche of 32.1 million shares will be settled on December 20, as the issue will be within the company's existing 15 per cent capacity.

The second tranche of 32.1 million shares will be settled in mid January subject to shareholder approval being obtained at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled to take place on January 18, 2008.

Mr Langue said Sea Stuct continued to partner with Neptune on several projects including the Pohokura project (Shell Todd, New Zealand), and the Kupe Project (Origin, New Zealand), and together, the business were also tendering on several projects in Australia and South East Asia.

Sea Struct's order book and commercial operations remain robust, he said.

Headquartered in Perth, Neptune has a current market capitalisation of $200 million and a team of 350 staff which is expected to grow by 125 people.

The company has three divisions - Diving Services, Engineering Services & Remote Systems and Marine- and an emerging global presence with operations in Australia, United States and shortly Asia and the North Sea region.

Patersons Securities Limited acted as lead manager to the placement.

Neptune shares opened at $1.10, seven per cent up on their $1.02 price before Monday's trading halt.

Its shares inched higher to $1.16 at 1258 AEDT.




STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options