29 October 2007

Opus International Consultants Ltd is expected to debut on the stock exchange successfully tomorrow because it operates in a popular infrastructure and engineering sector and because it didn't sell many shares. There was no public pool in the initial public share offer and most of the shares went to institutions and organising brokers First NZ Capital and Macquarie.

Opus was formed when the Ministry of Works and Development was privatised in 1988 and its Malaysian owner Opus International Group Plc is retaining a majority stake.

Nigel Scott of ABN Amro Craigs is wary of talking up a new listing but thinks this one will go well.

"There is probably a bit of a lack of liquidity outside the organising brokers, which might mean that other market participants may be interested in the story post-listing," he said.

"The equivalent type of companies around the globe have performed quite well," he said.

Martin Stearne of lead manager First NZ Capital said the IPO attracted a huge response from New Zealand and Australian institutions and NZX firms, resulting in heavy scaling.

"Opus is a great addition to the NZSX. The listing will meet the company's objectives of liquidity, value recognition and access to further capital," he said.

The company's executives and brokers will be at New Zealand Exchange Ltd when the shares start trading at 11am tomorrow.

A total of 28.97 million existing and new shares were sold at $1.65 each. They represent about 21 percent of the shares on issue. There was a small allocation to staff.

The company is the largest professional infrastructure consultancy in New Zealand.

The company's dividend policy is to pay out 50 percent of net profit after tax in dividends.

The interim dividend paid in September will represent approximately 45 percent of the expected dividend for each financial year.