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WA firms look to booming market

A NUMBER of Western Aust-ralian-based listed companies have taken advantage of buoyant times on the Australian Stock Exchange by raising additional capital. Continuing to set new records the ASX All Ordinaries Index finished last week at an all-time high of 4,514. These favourable market conditions have been met with exuberance by mining and civil contractor Macmahon Holdings, which came off a trading halt last week to announce a capital raising of $58.2 million. Macmahon’s capital will come from a placement to institutional investors of 57.2 million shares at 47 cents a share to raise $26.9 million and a one for six renounceable rights issue at 43 cents a share to raise about $31.5 million. Managing director Nick Bowen said the new capital would finance an expansion of the group’s equipment fleet allowing it to meet existing projects and undertake additional ones. Another to turn to the market for more financing last week was gold producer Agincourt Res-ources, which last week com-pleted a placement of 11 million ordinary shares to institutional shareholders, raising gross proceeds of $16.2 million. Agincourt said the placement would be used to enhance shareholder value through a higher reserve and resource base and to increase production levels. Investment plantation timber group Great Southern Plant-ations has announced that it has completed the issue of its third series of transferable reset exchangeable securities (TREES3) with strong demand from both institutional and retail investors. The initial coupon rate on the securities has now been struck at 7.75 per cent per annum, Great Southern said. This rate will be fixed until the first reset date on October 31, 2010. Strong demand saw the book several times oversubscribed at the rate of 7.75 per cent per annum, Great Southern said. As a result, the company raised $120 million. Another $5 million is planned to be raised in a public offer. The proceeds of TREES3 will provide additional capital, pre-dominantly for the acquisition of further land for lease under Great Southern’s managed investment scheme projects. The issue is being underwritten to the value of $115 million by Macquarie Equity Capital Markets. Goldman Sachs and JB Were are acting as co-lead managers with Bell Potter and Ord Minnet acting as brokers to the offer. Iberian Resources announced it had agreed to place 27 million shares at 30 cents to raise $8.1 million. Iberian plans to make the placement to clients of Sydney-based investment bank KTM Capital, including large Australian and US institutional investors. The explorer plans to use the funds to finance two European gold projects it expects to be producing in the near term. Iberian said $3.8 million would be used to complete the acquisition of 80 per cent of the Lichkvaz gold project in Armenia with a further $2.2 million to bring the project into production. It plans to use the remaining $2.1 million for additional working capital to complete a pre-feasibility study on its wholly-owned Montemor gold project in Portugal. Commercialisation specialist QRSciences Holdings has accepted a $5 million working capital facility from The At Call Equity Fund, based in Melbourne. The facility will provide a working capital reserve for the Perth-based company to assist with development of its quadripole resonance technology. Gold and uranium explorer Arafura Resources recently completed a placement of 7.58 million shares, raising $1.82 million. The company plans to use the funds to use the proceeds from the placement to carry out exploration for uranium, rare earths, gold and other commod-ities on Arafura’s tenements in the Northern Territory, as well as for working capital purposes. In August, Arafura identified uranium mineralisation at its tenement holdings in the Northern Territory. Batavia Mining last week announced a fully underwritten $2.7 million rights issue to underpin its forthcoming uranium exploration and development program in the Northern Territory. The funds will be mainly used to finance the junior’s planned exploration activities at its recently acquired portfolio of uranium projects in the Northern Territory and to further strengthen its working capital position following a $1.8 million rights issue earlier this year. The exploration program consists of a two year stint to commence in December, covering its Northern Territory uranium portfolio.

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