CARDNO GETS BREATHING ROOM WITH $92.5M CAPITAL RAISE

Written on the 22 June 2016

CARDNO GETS BREATHING ROOM WITH $92.5M CAPITAL RAISE

TROUBLED infrastructure firm Cardno (ASX:CDD) has completed a $92.5 million capital raise to pay down debt before the end of the financial year.

The Brisbane-based company raised $67 million in the retail component of its entitlement offer, following $26 million through an institutional placement on June 6.

The accelerated 1 for 1.07 offer price of 40 cents per share was discounted compared to Cardno's share price of 67 cents after the capital raise was announced. The company is currently trading at 52 cents.

Crescent Capital Partners will be allocated 17 million new shares under the retail entitlement, taking its stake in the company to 45 per cent.

The private equity group took control of the board last year, after launching a rejected takeover bid which offered $3.45 a share for the company.

Cardno chairman Michael Alscher says the funds will significantly reduce the company's financial risk and help rebuild in the future.

"The new board's directive to see the company move to a lower level of debt and a debt structure more flexible and consistent with the company's operations, positions the business to begin to regain its focus towards organic growth," Alscher says.

Cardno's debt has been forecast to reduce to $91 million following the capital raise, down from $311 million in June last year. The company also repaid its US private placement notes in April.

Full-year earnings are expected to be in the range of $40 and $45 million, down from an initial guidance of up to $70 million. It follows a $137 million writedown attributed to underperformance in the Americas region.

Mining, oil and gas sectors continue to operate at materially lower levels, while remaining contracts in Latin America are winding down.

New shares taken up under the retail entitlement offer are expected to commence trading on June 28.

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