OceanaGold to raise up to $C108m in discounted share issue

OceanaGold, which operates the Macraes gold mine near Dunedin, plans to raise up to $C108 million in a fully-underwritten share issue to repay debt and bolster its balance sheet.

The Melbourne-based company has agreed to sell 30 million shares to a syndicate of underwriters for some $C93 million, with an option to buy up to an extra 15%, it says in a statement. The underwriters will then sell the Chess Depositary Notes to the public in Canadian provinces except Quebec.

The CDIs' equivalent Australian price is $A3 a share, an 8.3% discount to their last trading price. Investors in other jurisdictions, including Australia, will be able to subscribe to the offer through private placements.

"While commissioning at the Didipio project remains on schedule with the commencement of milling last week, the board remains focused on maintaining more prudent gearing levels in line with industry peers," OceanaGold says.

"The company will use the net proceeds from the offer to reduce outstanding debt and to provide balance sheet and operating flexibility."

The underwriting syndicate is led by Citigroup Global Markets Canada and Macquarie Capital Markets Canada, and includes Cormark Securities, GMP Securities and BMO Capital Markets.

In October, the gold miner cut its forecast annual production and said it faces higher costs for extracting the precious metal from the ground. The company made a loss of $US397,000 in the three months ended September 30, from a profit of $US10.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

The company's triple-listed shares were unchanged at $4.10 in New Zealand, having rallied 49% this year.

The offer is subject to certain conditions, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(BusinessDesk)

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