OMNIA: 3,488 -15 (-0.43%)
South Africa's Omnia prices $130 mln rights issue
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 12 (Reuters) - South African chemicals and
fertiliser maker Omnia Holdings priced its 2 billion
rand ($130 million) rights issue at 20 rand per share on
Omnia, which said in May it would use the proceeds to reduce
its debt, will issue 100 million shares, it said in a statement.
Omnia has been battling high debt after raising funds for
two acquisitions and the construction of a fertiliser plant. Net
interest-bearing borrowings stood at 4.403 billion rand at the
end of March.
At 0859 GMT, Omnia's shares were up 1.53% at 34.59 rand,
after slipping more than 8% at the market open.
The firm said it had also agreed an underwriting deal with
investors Allan Gray, Coronation Asset Management, Foord Asset
Management, Kagiso Asset Management, Old Mutual Investment Group
As a result of this, a standby underwriting agreement with
banks had been terminated, it added.
"Receiving support from prominent asset managers who
represent our shareholders affirms the investment case for Omnia
as we continue to strengthen our financial position and execute
on our strategy," newly appointed Chairman Ralph Havenstein
Omnia, which also produces explosives, said in June it would
evaluate the returns from its business units and look at cost
cutting as it grapples with high debt and thin margins.
The company reported a headline loss per share of 112 cents
for the year ended March 31, against a profit of 991 cents a
year earlier, hurt by a volatile currency, drought, changes in
the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions.
($1 = 15.3025 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Mark Potter)
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