20/12/2011 - 09:25

Sunbird closes $9m IPO early and oversubscribed

20/12/2011 - 09:25

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Sunbird closes $9m IPO early and oversubscribed

Perth-based junior Sunbird Energy announced today it has closed its $9 million initial public offering (IPO) early after being oversubscribed.

The southern Africa-focused coalbed methane (CBM) explorer and developer issued 45 million shares at 20 cents per share, and is expected to list on the ASX around January 10-15.

Cygnet Capital acted as lead manager on the offer.

Sunbird managing director Will Barker said he was delighted with the market’s response to the IPO.

“Our objective is to become the leading CBM exploration and development company in southern Africa and out IPO support indicates the market’s recognition of our value proposition,” he said.

“Given the current energy demands in southern Africa, there is a significant opportunity for natural gas to become an increasing source of energy, a great prospect for Sunbird.

“Our current extensive portfolio includes five CBM projects, providing opportunities for early stage commercialisation with projects located adjacent to existing gas pipelines and power networks.”

The company also announced it had secured a strategic alliance with African joint venture partner Umbono Capital Partners, providing an experienced in-country operational team and potential new project opportunities.

Cygnet Capital head of corporate finance Darien Jagger said he was extremely pleased by the results of the offer, especially as 2011 had been a difficult year for IPOs.

The announcement comes as Deloitte released figures today showing the number of IPOs in WA remained steady in 2011, but the average raised per float declined.

The number of floats increased from 51 to 57 this year, however the average raised dropped from $10 million to $7.5 million.

Deloitte corporate finance partner Andrew Annand said despite the decline in the overall value of funds raised, WA produced two of the nation's largest IPOs during the year - Blackgold International at $80 million, and GR Engineering ar $30 million.

Mr Annand said there were positive signs for the outlook of IPOs in 2012, with postponements this year creating a backlog of Australian companies for whom a float remained an option if market conditions improved.

"Some offshore entities are also expected to seek to unlock cash from their Australian assets in 2012 through the IPO market and the current strength of the Australian dollar in particular makes this an attractive time to repatriate funds to offshore parent companies," he said.

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