Protasco Bhd, which is aiming for a KLSE main board listing in the third quarter of this year, expects to raise RM56mil from its flotation exercise, its executive chairman Datuk Hasnur Rabiain Ismail said.
''Proceeds from the listing exercise will be used to partly repay bank borrowings (RM50mil) and the balance for working capital and to meet listing expenses,'' he said after signing an underwriting agreement with Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd (CIMB) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Protasco is expected to issue its prospectus next month. CIMB is the financial adviser and managing underwriter for the listing exercise with JF Apex Securities Bhd as co-underwriter.
The flotation entails a public issue of 48.85 million new 50 sen shares and an offer for sale of 19.6 million shares at an indicative retail price of RM1.15 each.
Fifteen million shares will be allocated to Protasco's employees and directors and 5 million shares offered to the public. The remaining 28.85 million shares will be placed out to institutional investors in a book-building exercise.
On completion of the book building, the institutional placement shares will be fixed at a price determination date. The final retail price will be RM1.15 or not less than 90% of the institutional price.
Protasco will also offer for sale 19.6 million existing shares, of which 9 million will be allocated to bumiputra investors.
''By partly repaying our bank loan taken for the acquisition of our Ikram College of Technology site we will reduce our gearing from 36% currently to 4%,'' Hasnur said.
He said the company expected business growth of 8% to 10% this year. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2002, Protasco had chalked up RM43.7mil in net profit on revenue of RM715mil.
Protasco, an investment holding company with four subsidiaries HCM Engineering Sdn Bhd, Kumpulan Ikram Sdn Bhd, Paves Sdn Bhd and Protasco Trading Sdn Bhd -- is involved in road construction and rehabilitation as well and road maintenance work.
It is also engaged in the provision of private higher education and training services.
The group currently has two main 15-year concessions from the government to keep its order book full. The first is a contract to provide engineering services and training to Public Works Department personnel; the second is a contract to maintain up to 5,000km of federal roads in peninsular Malaysia.
We still have nine years on the engineering services concession and 12 years more on the maintenance concession,'' Hasnur said.
He added that the group currently had a book order value of RM1.3bil.
On the book-building exercise, group managing director Datuk Chong Ket Pen said the company's fundamentals were strong enough to attract bids from institutional investors.
We provide total solutions from design and construction to the maintenance of roads, and there is always demand for road repair and maintenance, he added.