Rubicon Announces Sale Of Brisbane Fuels Terminal
Rubicon Announces Sale Of Its Brisbane Fuels Terminal And Its Intention To Make A Substantial Return Of Capital To Shareholders
Auckland, 11 June 2001 - Rubicon today announced the sale of its Brisbane bulk fuels terminal business, and also a substantial return of capital to Rubicon shareholders.
The Brisbane business is to be sold to the Neumann Petroleum Group for approximately A$18.4 million (NZ$23 million at today¡¦s .80 cent exchange rate). The sale, which is subject to working capital adjustment on settlement, will close on 29th June 2001.
Mr Luke Moriarty, the Chief Executive Officer of Rubicon, said, ¡§The sale represents excellent value for Rubicon shareholders, with the price received for Brisbane alone, exceeding Rubicon¡¦s NZ$20 million total acquisition cost for both the Challenge service station network in New Zealand and the Brisbane businesses combined.¡¨
The Brisbane sale follows the disposal of Rubicon¡¦s shareholding in the New Zealand Refinery and the sale of its Capstone Turbine shares. This leaves Challenge as the sole remaining asset that Rubicon acquired from the Fletcher Challenge Energy Division as part of the Fletcher Challenge separation. Rubicon has also announced that Challenge is being targeted for divestment within 12 months.
The Company also announced today its intention to make a significant return of capital to shareholders. Mr Moriarty said, ¡§We are conscious of the discount to net asset backing at which Rubicon is currently trading and we are keen to close that value-gap quickly. We see the best use of Rubicon¡¦s cash today, and the best investment we can make for shareholders, is to buy-back our own shares. In addition, we stated clearly in our Prospectus and Investment Statement that where significant success is achieved we would look to return value to our shareholders in cash. Accordingly, we believe that a substantial portion of the upside we have achieved through our asset sales to date should be returned to shareholders. Our intention is to return NZ$40 million (the equivalent of approximately 11.25 cents per share) in cash by way of capital return to shareholders in the form of a share buy-back. We will announce the exact details and mechanics of the buy-back within a month.¡¨
Following the sale of the Brisbane business, Rubicon¡¦s remaining business portfolio will consist of :-
„X An interest in 31.67% of ArborGen ¡V the
world¡¦s leading bio-engineering tree business that includes
Westvaco and International Paper as equal partners
„X Joint rights to a comprehensive genetic database for commercial forestry species, and also joint ownership of rights to related international patents
„X A Radiata and Eucalypt clonal development business
„X A Trees & Technology business based at Te Teko with tree improvement and tree-stock production capabilities and facilities
„X A 2.95% interest in Genesis Research and Development Corporation
„X A 17.6% interest in Fletcher Challenge Forests Limited
„X The Challenge! Service station network in New Zealand, together with related terminal assets.
The Net Asset Backing of Rubicon is approximately 90 cents.