Hong Kong satellite firm Speedcast flat in Sydney debut

SYDNEY Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:11pm EDT

SYDNEY Aug 12 (Reuters) - Shares in Hong Kong satellite services firm Speedcast International Ltd were flat in their first day of trade on the Australian stock exchange after the company raised A$150 million in an initial public offering.

The company, which derives about a third of its revenue from Australian customers, sells satellite services to people in remote locations. It says it has 1,000 customers in 3,000 land sites, mainly in Asia Pacific, and 1,700 offshore rigs and vessels globally.

It shares were trading at A$1.96, the same as their issue price, giving the company a market value of A$235.5 million ($218 million).

Some 64 percent of the company was sold in the IPO, with rest held by its directors and Boston-based private equity owner TA Associates. Funds raised will go towards paying down debt and to fund acquisitions. Speedcast has made five acquisitions since being bought by private equity in 2012.

Australia is headed for its biggest year of new listings in a quarter century with $7.9 billion raised from the start of 2014 to Aug. 5, according to Thomson Reuters data, more than three times the same period last year.

Speedcast expects to post an annual net loss of $5.5 million, compared with net profit of $3.6 million the previous year, as Australian troops, for whom it provided services, withdraw from Afghanistan.

Excluding Afghanistan-related earnings, the company said it expects annual net income to nearly double to $6.1 million.

(1 US dollar = 1.0793 Australian dollar) (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)