Transfield makes £358m takeover bid

City A.M. Reporter
THE AUSTRALIAN contractor Transfield Services plans to buy Easternwell, a well services business, for $566m (£358m) and will sell new shares to help fund more than half the deal.

The acquisition of the well servicing and construction firm will give Transfield more high-value work, the company said early today.

Easternwell works in the mining, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors, with major customers like BHP Billiton, Chevron, Rio Tinto and Woodside.

Transfield expects Easternwell to add more than A$40m (£25m) to the group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the six months to June 2011 and will boost earnings per share from the first full year.

It reiterated it expects mid-single digit growth in net profit before one-offs for the year to June, as long as economic conditions do not turn down.

Transfield plans to raise A$294m through a 2-for-9 non-renounceable entitlement offer priced at A$3 a share, a 14 per cent discount to its close last Friday, fully underwritten by JP Morgan Chase.

The sale to institutional shareholders is open today and tomorrow, while the retail component will close on January 12.

Transfield also said it has refinanced A$915m in debt facilities, extending maturities to between 2013 and 2015.