04/03/2011 - 06:35

Singapore's MTQ takes 12% of Neptune

04/03/2011 - 06:35

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Singaporean engineering firm MTQ now holds a 12 per cent stake in Neptune Marine, after the struggling shipbuilder and engineering firm announced it had reached the minimum subscription level in its $80.6 million capital raising.

Singapore's MTQ takes 12% of Neptune

Singaporean engineering firm MTQ Corporation now holds a 12 per cent stake in Neptune Marine, after the struggling shipbuilder and engineering company announced it had reached the minimum subscription level in its $80.6 million capital raising.

MTQ committed to subscribe for 200 million shares in Neptune, via one of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

Following successful completion of the capital raising, MTG will hold a 12 per cent stake in Neptune.

"I welcome MTQ's investment in Neptune via the capital raising and look forward to working together with MTQ to take advantage of our respective competencies and relationships in the Australian and Asia-Pacific marketplace," Neptune acting chief executive Robin King said.

Neptune, which provides vessels, pipeline engineering and other services to the oil and gas, marine and renewable energy industries, booked a net profit of $849,000 in 2009/10.

The result was down sharply from $20.97 million a year earlier, due to a downturn in two of its key markets, the United States and Asia.

The capital raising, which was announced on February 22, is part of a plan to return the ailing company to growth but was denounced by shareholders at a meeting in Perth this week.

Mr King said the capital raising, which has a minimum $60 million subscription level, received solid support from existing retail and institutional shareholders as well as new shareholders introduced via the shortfall placement.

"Reaching the minimum raising is a critical step in our restructure plan. It allows us to significantly strengthen the balance sheet and move ahead with ensuring Neptune's future success," Mr King said in a statement.

Neptune said it was now working closely with the joint lead managers, Patersons Securities and Euroz, on the placement of additional shortfall stock in order to complete the raising.

The company will advise of the final quantum of the raising next week.

Neptune already has more than 442 million shares on offer.

The company also said it would move immediately to appoint independent advisers to review its board composition and structure.

The recommendations of this review will assist the board to implement a search to identify candidates for the board.

Neptune originally proposed a three-for-one pro-rata entitlement offer of new shares to eligible shareholders, at six cents per share.

This was later revised to five cents per share and subsequently amended further to a 3.6-for-one offer.

Neptune's all-time share price closing high was $1.135 in November 2007.

The company's share price has been in voluntary suspension since November 2010 and last traded at 20.5 cents.

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