Mining services group Aethon looks for IPO

Australian mining services provider Aethon Group is looking to raise up to $31.9 million in an initial public offering, according to documents seen by Deal Journal Australia.

The IPO is jointly managed and underwritten by Canaccord Genuity and RBS Morgans.

According to The Wall Street Journal, pre-marketing to institutional investors started on Monday, with a road show beginning next week and a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in the offing for May, the documents revealed. Pre-marketing is where bankers tap interest among key investors before taking orders in a road show process.

The documents also showed the company will have a market value of $79.9 million after the IPO, which will see its current owners hold on to a collective stake of about 57 percent. Part of that stake will be escrowed for at least one year, depending on how the company performs, and the rest for two years.

Aethon shares are being offered at 50 cents a share, meaning the deal is priced at a 4.9 times annualised price-to-earnings multiple. This means a 36 percent discount to peers such as Decmil Group, Forge Group and MACA.

The company has predicted an after-tax net profit of $16.3 million for fiscal 2013, and earnings before interest and tax, and depreciation and amortisation of $30.6 mullion from revenue of $114 million. It is likely to pay 35 to 50 percent of its earnings as dividends.

Aethon is a group of five smaller companies that merged to fulfil big mining companies’ wish to work with fewer contractors at individual mines, the investor presentation said.

It focuses on Queensland’s Bowen Basin and the liquefied natural gas hub Gladstone. Clients include Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy, and Xstrata. 

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