17 Feb 2009

Clayton Utz advises leading Qld companies on successful capital raisings

17 February 2009: Clayton Utz has advised on two separate and successful capital raisings coming out of Queensland, in a sign that the equity markets are still open for business despite the difficult economic climate.

A Clayton Utz Brisbane team has advised Bank of Queensland (BOQ) on its A$108 million share purchase plan (SPP) and placement, and telecommunications company PIPE Networks on a A$10 million placement and related SPP offer.

The team, led by Brisbane Corporate partner Tim Reid, worked with BOQ to secure relief from ASIC for an SPP offer of $10,000 per shareholder, a change to ASIC's SPP relief policy which has since been extended to other ASX listed companies, including PIPE Networks, in response to difficult market conditions for capital raisings.

BOQ's additional capital will be used to continue to fund the organic growth opportunities for its existing business.

PIPE Networks new capital will assist in funding the system acquisition for its Sydney-Guam undersea telecommunications cable project.

BOQ's placement was conducted in conjunction with the close of the SPP offer once the SPP pricing was known.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Reid said: "This is something of a reverse of the usual practice of launching an SPP off the back of a placement.

"In the current environment, listed companies need to be able to move quickly to take advantage of narrow windows of opportunity for capital raising on reasonable terms. In both projects we were able to quickly deal with the regulatory issues involved and meet tight deadlines for documenting the offers."

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.