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Airwork takes off on NZX

Duncan Bridgeman
Thu, 19 Dec 2013

Aviation services firm Airwork Holdings [NZX: AWK] has made a solid debut on the NZX, its shares trading at a premium to the issue price of $2.60.

Shortly after listing at 11am, the shares climbed to $2.73, a 5% premium, as investors sought more stock after subscriptions were cut off at $37.5 million worth of shares.

The company, majority owned by entrepreneur Hugh Jones, sought a mimimum of $30 million and could have raised up to $40 million in the IPO.

Five institutions are said to have participated with a total of 14.423 million shares issued.

Mr Jones remains the major shareholder, with a 61% holding, having sold down his stake from just over 90%.

“This is a very good outcome for Airwork,” says chairman Mike Daniel. “We have achieved an NZX listing, attracting many new investors, including some very reputable institutions. We welcome all new shareholders to the register.”

Mr Daniel and associated interests subscribed for a further 420,000 shares in the IPO.

Airwork chief executive Chris Hart says new capital of $20 million raised in the IPO will assist Airwork accelerate its growth plans.

Airwork is fundamentally an engineering business with a range of other operations, including both fixed wing and helicopter leasing businesses.

It has operations in Western Australia (servicing the resources sector), Papua New Guinea and central Africa.

Airwork has an operating fleet of 29 helicopters, of which 25 are owned and four are operated. The company has helicopter maintenance contracts with public and private organisations including the Westpac rescue helicopters in Auckland and Wellington.

It also has 20 fixed wing aircraft including nine Boeing 737s.

According to the prospectus, Airwork is forecasting operating revenue of $125 million in the year to June 2014, up from $118 million reported in 2013.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are forecast at $39 million, up from $37 million, and the company expects to post a net profit after tax of $8 million, up from $6 million.

The company is forecasting a full year dividend of 14c a share in 2014. 

Duncan Bridgeman
Thu, 19 Dec 2013
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Airwork takes off on NZX