WiseTech to raise $250M for global growth ambitions
Written on the 19 March 2019 by Matt Ogg
One of the fastest risers in this year's Sydney's Top Companies List has announced an institutional placement worth more than its revenue in FY18, following on from an aggressive period of acquisitions around the globe.
Founded and led by former music industry executive Richard White (pictured), WiseTech Global (ASX: WTC) has become a leading logistics software empire through proven technology and a strategy of absorbing similar founder-backed enterprises in the sector.
The company went into a trading halt this morning before announcing the $250 million fully underwritten placement to be followed by a $30 million share purchase plan, all of which will go towards a "continued disciplined execution of our growth strategy".
Underwritten by joint lead managers Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the expected placement price will be announced tomorrow morning prior to trading, with an anticipated discount of 7-12 per cent on yesterday's closing price.
White says the offer will add further strength to WiseTech's balance sheet and increase its capacity to accelerate long-term growth, through "relentless innovation" and an acquisition strategy in new regions.
"With our geographic foothold acquisitions, we are acquiring leading customs or freight forwarding providers," he says.
"These small, targeted acquisitions provide safer, faster, stronger entry to key markets across the G20+20 countries - ultimately targeting 90% of world's manufactured trade flows. Significant progress has been made and we now cover over 30 countries in depth for customs processing.
"We have secured key positions in all major English-speaking economies, major European economies and Latin American economies."
He says these actions have given WiseTech leading industry expertise and high-quality customer bases, in addition to the key benefit of founder-led management.
"We will continue to execute on smaller, but important, European economies and key remaining markets in Asia," he says.
"Once complete, we will have secured the leading global position in customs clearance and border compliance.
"We are building out rapidly from our stronghold of international logistics and complex cross-border compliance, to leverage our innovation pipeline and put in place the key technologies and assets to start building unassailable ecosystems."
Since FY17, WiseTech has been increasing its focus in areas such as specialist warehousing, global multi-modal rates management, global shipping, domestic transport, landside logistics and global data sets.
WiseTech consistently invests more than 30 per cent of its annual revenues and half its global workforce in development and innovation, and has added 3,000 product upgrades and enhancements to its global platform in the last five years alone.
"We continue to invest our resources into in-application machine learning, natural language processing, process automation and guided decision support, driven by vast volumes of transactional, carrier and border agency data sets to enable enhanced productivity, automation, visibility, predictability, compliance, due diligence, risk assessment and risk mitigation," says White.
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Business News Australia
Author: Matt Ogg