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Ausdrill shares surge on return to trading

Shares in Ausdrill (ASX: ASL) jumped to around a 10-week high today after the drilling specialist returned to trading following the announcement on Wednesday it would acquire Barminco Holdings.
Ausdrill shares surge on return to trading Ausdrill shares surge on return to trading Ausdrill shares surge on return to trading Ausdrill shares surge on return to trading Ausdrill shares surge on return to trading

Ausdrill at work in the Pilbara region in Western Australia

Staff reporter

The stock had been in a trading halt while Ausdrill completed an institutional raising to support the transaction.

The one-for-2.13 non-renounceable entitlement offer attracted strong institutional support, with eligible shareholders taking up around 93% of the offer.

The bookbuild of entitlements not taken up by shareholders was oversubscribed.

The issue raised $175 million at $1.47 per share.

The company will now proceed with the retail offer, with the combined issues to raise $250 million.

The raising was fully underwritten by UBS and Deutsche Bank.

Ausdrill interim CEO Theresa Mlikota said the company was extremely pleased with the support for the entitlement offer from new and existing investors.

"The success of the offer is testament to Ausdrill shareholders' confidence in the opportunity represented by both the Barminco acquisition and Ausdrill's underlying business," she said.

The proceeds of the entitlement offer will be used to partially fund the repayment of senior secured notes. Ausdrill has $405 million of notes on issue.

Ausdrill will take on US$350 million of Barminco's senior secured notes, due for repayment in May 2022, as part of the takeover.

Consideration for the Barminco acquisition is 150.7 million shares and A$25.4 million in cash, equivalent to an acquisition price of $271.5 million.

The acquisition has been viewed as favourable for both parties by ratings agencies.

Both S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service placed Ausdrill and Barminco under review for upgrade.

Ausdrill shares resumed trading today and jumped by 12.4% to $1.922, the highest point since early June. Earlier in the session, shares rose to as high as $2.01. The company was the best performer in the ASX 200 today.