Tug Operator Completes Takeover
Tugboat operator Adsteam Marine Ltd. has completed its purchase of rival Newcastle operator Hunter Towage Services Pty Ltd. Adsteam operates in Newcastle through Waratah Towage, a joint venture with Howard Smith Ltd.
Adsteam To Buy Howard Smith Ltd.
Australia's largest marine towage group Adsteam Marine Ltd. has agreed to buy Howard Smith Ltd's Australian and U.K. towage businesses for A$500 million. "The transaction is in line with Adsteam Marine's previously stated objective of using strategic international acquisitions to grow its harbor services operations into a global business," David Ryan, Adsteam's managing director said. The purchase would double Adsteam's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and enhance its earnings per share before goodwill in the first full year of operations. Howard Smith said around A$250 million of the sale proceeds would be used to fund share buybacks both on- and off-market, and the balance would repay debt and fund potential acquisitions.
Howard Smith To Jettison Tow Business?
Howard Smith Ltd.'s likely sale of its Australian and U.K. towage operations to Adsteam Marine Ltd would enable the sluggish company to focus on hardware and industrial supplies distribution, analysts said. The deal was also viewed as a positive for acquisitive Adsteam, already the largest operator of marine towage services in Australia's mature market. Adsteam expanded into the U.S. market in 1999 and would welcome a foothold in the U.K. market. Hardware retailer, industrial supplier and towage operator Howard Smith announced earlier that it was in talks with Adsteam but said no agreement had yet been reached. "We would see it as positive in that it's focusing the business of Howard Smith on the distribution side…
SMIT Acquires Adsteam Liverpool Towage
Smit Internationale NV today agreed with Adsteam to acquire Adsteam’s port of Liverpool towage operations. This agreement is a result from the requirement of the English Competition Commission as set out in its decision on the acquisition of Adsteam Marine Ltd by SvitzerWijsmuller. Consequently the agreement between SMIT and Adsteam is subject to approval of the Competition Commission and to the finalization of the acquisition of Adsteam by SvitzerWijsmuller.
Adsteam Considers Expansion
According to an Australian Associated Press report, maritime services company Adsteam Marine Ltd is considering expanding operations into Asia and mainland Europe as part of its growth strategy. The firm was now considering expanding its existing markets as well as looking at new acquisitions since restructuring the business over the last two and a half years, according to the report. Adsteam - which operates more than 200 tugboats, barges, workboats and launches - earlier told shareholders at its annual general meeting that it expects net profit to be in the range of $42 million to $46 million this year. Last year the firm booked a $38 million net profit after adjusting for new international accounting standards.
Holyman To Back New Lang Bid
Holyman Ltd.'s board of directors will reportedly recommend a fresh $.71 a share takeover bid from Lang Corp Ltd. Lang Corp increased its cash offer from $.61, topping a rival $.66 a share bid from Adsteam Marine Ltd. The new bid values Holyman at about $82.5 million, compared with just $53.5 million at Adsteam's original bid price of $.46.
Adsteam Shares Drop 15%
Shares in Adsteam Marine Ltd fell 15 percent on Thursday after it forecast growth in earnings in the year to end-June 2001, but said activity levels in some Australian ports were down in May and June. Consistent with the slowdown in the Australian economy, coal and grain traffic had eased and containerized trade was weaker, but U.S. earnings would boost the bottom line, Adsteam said. "Compared with last year, we now expect EBITDA to increase by approximately 40 percent and EBIT to increase by approximately 25 percent," Adsteam said. "We expect the full year's operational result to reflect the benefit of a full year's contribution from Northland in the U.S. and a small contribution from the recently acquired Howard Smith Towage business," it said.
Australian Port Bid Pending
The lead sale consultant for the sell-off of South Australia state's main ports was on Tuesday confident of a good outcome as two final bids were evaluated, but said a final decision was still weeks, if not months away. James Hatherley, a director with Arthur Andersen, confirmed that two final bids had been lodged this month for the group of six ports but said the evaluation process was complex as the new owner was required to build a dedicated deep sea grain wharf at the 18-berth capital city facility at Port Adelaide. "We got offers in on (July 9), we've been evaluating them and the government will be assessing that evaluation pretty shortly," Hatherley said. "There's not going to be an announcement until we've signed the contract.
Adsteam Posts $1 Million Drop in Profits
Australia's biggest marine towage group Adsteam Marine Ltd posted a net profit on Wednesday of $8.6 million for 2000/01, down from $9.6 million a year ago, but said it saw early signs of improved performance. "There are early signs for an improved performance by the group's global operations in the current financial year," managing director David Ryan said in a statement. Adsteam, which recently paid around $268.8 million for Howard Smith Ltd's towage business, said it expected to match market expectations for 2001/02, currently for a pre-abnormal net profit of $18.8 million to $19.3 million. "We put out a warning late in June because we'd seen a softening in the market that was affecting our results…
Adsteam Marine Looks For Improved Profits
Tugboat operator Adsteam Marine Ltd. is aiming for improved profits in 1999/2000 after reporting a 1998/99 net profit of $11.1 million. The company achieved a 1997/98 net profit of $10.8 million. Managing director David Ryan said the company was enthusiastic about improved returns from its Newcastle operations, which were expected to return to profit this year. Ryan said earnings before interest, tax and abnormals had grown 5.8 percent in 1998/99 to $18.9 million. Revenue rose to $77.9 million from $70.2 million, with net earnings affected by a 23.2 percent higher tax provision. "The company was targeting further earnings growth in the current financial year - both from traditional operations and from newly acquired assets," he said.
Holyman Rejects Takeover Bid
Directors of shipping and transport group Holyman Ltd. unanimously rejected a revised takeover bid from tugboat operator Adsteam Marine Ltd., saying it was still below fair value. "The revised bid continues to undervalue the Holyman business and falls well short of fair price for control," Holyman managing director James Bryant said. The new Adsteam bid, which was upped to 50 cents a share from 45 cents, was still significantly below a valuation prepared by SG Hambros which puts Holyman at between 60 and 89 cents a share, Bryant said.
Holyman Rejects Adsteam Takeover Offer
Directors of shipping and transport group Holyman Ltd. unanimously rejected a revised takeover bid from tugboat operator Adsteam Marine Ltd., saying it was still below fair value. The new Adsteam bid, which was upped to 52 cents a share from 45 cents, was still significantly below a valuation prepared by SG Hambros, which puts Holyman at between 60 and 89 cents a share.
Lang Corp. Outbids Adsteam For Holyman
Stevedore company Lang Corp. Ltd. is said to be planning an offer of 93 cents per ordinary share for shipping and transport group Holyman Lt, significantly higher than the 80 cent per share bid from Adsteam Marine Ltd.
Holyman To Support New Adsteam Offer
Ferry and transport group Holyman Ltd. will recommend a revised 65 cents a share cash takeover offer from Adsteam Marine Ltd. in the absence of a higher offer. Earlier, Adsteam Marine lifted its hostile bid for Holyman to 65 cents per share from 52 cents. The new offer tops a rival bid from stevedore company Lang Corp Ltd., which has a 61 cent per share offer on the table. However, managing director James Bryant said shareholders need be in no hurry to accept and should await details of Lang Corp's offer, due in early October.
Holyman To Back New Lang Bid
Holyman Ltd.'s board of directors will recommend a fresh $.71 a share takeover bid from Lang Corp Ltd. Lang Corp increased its cash offer from $.61, topping a rival $.66 a share bid from Adsteam Marine Ltd. The new bid values Holyman at about $82.5 million, compared with just $53.5 million at Adsteam's original bid price of $.46. "We have discussed it and obviously we think it's good news for shareholders," managing director James Bryant said. "The board of directors will recommend that shareholders accept in the absence of another bid," he said. Adsteam Marine chief executive David Ryan said the company would consider its next move.
Adsteam Extends Offer For Holyman
Adsteam Marine Ltd. extended its 80 cents a share takeover offer for ferry and transport group Holyman Ltd until Oct. 5. The offer was to close Sept. 27. The extension followed a rival offer on Sept. 23 from stevedore Lang Corp Ltd., which was pitched at 93 cents a share. Holyman directors recommended that shareholders accept the Lang Corp bid in the absence of a higher offer, although they should take no action until formal documentation was served in early October. Lang Corp's offer is subject to receiving a minimum of 50.1 percent of the ordinary and converting preference shares, as well as usual regulatory conditions. Adsteam, which now holds 22.8 percent of Holyman, has made its offer unconditional.
Adsteam Fails To Take Control Of Holyman
Tugboat operator Adsteam Marine Ltd.'s bid for Holyman Ltd. closed on Oct. 18 with shareholder acceptances falling well short of the level Adsteam needed to gain control of the shipping and transport group. While Adsteam remains the largest stakeholder with around 23.3 percent of Holyman's ordinary shares, stevedore Lang Corp. Ltd. now looks set to take control of the company with its bid of approximately $.70 a share, valuing Holyman at about $82 million. Adsteam originally offered $.46 a share for Holyman in late July before upping its hostile bid to $.52 in September and again to $.65 after Lang Corp. unveiled its interest last month. Its final offer valued Holyman at $76 million. "There was value in the acquisition for us up to A$1.00 ($.65).
Adsteam Performance Ahead of Last Year
Tugboat operator Adsteam Marine Ltd. is reportedly performing ahead of the same period in the previous year, but has not yet made a decision on whether to sell its stake in Holyman Ltd. The company posted a net profit after abnormals of $11.1 million in 1998/99, up from $10.9 million on the year. Adsteam, whose $75.3 million takeover offer for shipping and transport group Holyman was recently trumped by a $81.4 million offer from stevedore Lang Corp. Ltd., held around 23 percent of Holyman's ordinary shares and 68.3 percent of its listed options when its bid closed. Adsteam has six new tugs currently under construction, which are due to be completed by June 2000.
Adsteam Performance Ahead of Last Year
Adsteam Marine Ltd. is performing better than in the same period last year, but company officials said no decision has yet been made on or not to sell the firm's stake in Holyman Ltd. "Current trading after the first four months of the new financial year is ahead of the same time last year - that is revenue, earnings before interest and tax and net profit after tax," David Ryan, Adsteam's managing director, said. The company posted a net profit after abnormals of $11 million in 1998/99, up from $10.8 million on the year. Adsteam, whose $74.9 million takeover offer for Holyman was recently bettered by a $80.9 million offer from Lang Corp. Ltd., held around 23 percent of Holyman's ordinary shares and 68.3 percent of its listed options when its bid closed.
Australian Tugboat Crewing Dispute Escalates
Australian towage operators threatened by foreign competition were at standstill with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) last Tuesday as a dispute over tug boat manning levels escalated. "Increasingly we are seeing overseas towage companies tendering for towage contracts in our ports," said Adsteam Marine Ltd. CEO Clay Frederick, noting that comparable offshore ports operated with mostly three man crews. "I don't think our customers are going to cop the fact that we are there with four men, when clearly it has been proven it can be done with three," he said. Adsteam plans to reduce manning levels in a bid to carve A$5 million annually out of its cost base.
Australian Company Buys Into U.S. Inland Market
Towage group Adsteam Marine Ltd unveiled a $55 million investment in an Alaskan barge group last week, a move, which was reportedly designed to drive further growth through a foothold in what many perceive as the fragmented United States market. Adsteam also reported a 44 percent rise in net profit to A$11.44 million, said it was still on track to improve its full year earnings on 1998/99's A$17.12 million net profit. "We are ahead of the same stage last year and we expect to exceed last year at every line," managing director David Ryan said, although he declined to give more details. Ryan said Adsteam, Australia's largest marine towage operator…