Auckland Airport seeking to raise USD126.4 million through entitlement offer


Shares in New Zealand’s Auckland International Airport Ltd rose 2.7% yesterday to NZD1.92 yesterday, ahead of company’s announcement of its intent to raise NZD126.4 million (USD89.4 million) through a fully underwritten pro rata entitlement offer.

Eligible shareholders will be entitled to subscribe for one new share for every 16 shares held on the record date of 01-Feb-2010. The application price for the new shares is NZD1.65 each. The offer is fully underwritten by Credit Suisse (Australia) Limited and First NZ Capital Securities Limited, the joint lead managers.

As previously announced, 13-Jan-2010 Auckland Airport acquired 24.55% of Cairns and Mackay airports in Queensland, Australia for AUD132.8 million (approximately NZD166.7 million). The acquisition was financed from existing debt facilities and Auckland Airport will use the proceeds of the offer to repay a portion of the debt drawn down to pay for the acquisition. See related report: Auckland Airport should be on a winner buying into Cairns and Mackay Airports. Who's next?

The pro rata entitlement offer consists of four parts – an institutional entitlement offer, institutional book build, a retail entitlement offer and retail book build.

New Zealand Airport commenced a trading halt on 27-Jan-2010, which is expected to be lifted on the NZSX and ASX on 02-Feb-2010.

Auckland Airport Chairman, Tony Frankham, announced the company’s Directors consider the offer “preferable to other options, including a rights issue or private institutional placement". Mr Frankham stated the offer achieves “appropriate balance between our desire to give existing shareholders the best possible opportunity to participate or alternatively potentially obtain value from their entitlement, while at the same time achieving a streamlined and efficient equity raising that benefits the company and safeguards the broader interests of all shareholders”.

Mr Frankham added, that with Auckland Airport’s “strong investment grade credit rating maintained, the Directors believe the company is well placed to take advantage of the recovery from the global financial crisis”.

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Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 26-Jan-2010

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