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Sealink Floats

September 13, 2013 Cruise No Comments Email Email

SeaLink Travel Group Limited, an established diversified business operating in the tourism and transport sectors, has announced its intention to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

SeaLink has lodged a prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to issue 15,000,000 New Shares at an Offer Price of $1.10 per share. Ord Minnett Limited and Taylor Collison Limited are Joint Lead Managers to the Offer.

At the Completion of the Offer, the total number of Shares on issue will be 70,000,000, giving SeaLink a market capitalisation of $77 million.

The company operates a fleet of passenger ferries and other maritime craft and tourist coaches and provides related tourism and travel services, with the well-recognised brands “SeaLink” and “Captain Cook Cruises”.

SeaLink Chairman, Giuliano Ursini said the funds raised from the Offer will be used for acquisition of new vessels, refurbishment and upgrade of the existing fleet and to strengthen SeaLink’s balance sheet for future expansion.

“The ASX listing will better enable the Company to access equity capital markets and give employees and stakeholders, as well as new investors, an opportunity to participate in the ownership of SeaLink and share in the value we intend to create,” Mr Ursini said.

SeaLink’s origins are in South Australia and the Company has been synonymous with Kangaroo Island for over 24 years, providing the major transport link between the mainland of South Australia and Kangaroo Island. Over this period, SeaLink has developed tourism links to, and throughout, the island and has expanded its business across Australia to become a multi-award winning operator in the tourism and transport sectors.

Captain Cook Cruises, which has showcased Sydney Harbour to millions of Australians and overseas tourists for over 40 years, was acquired in 2011. Captain Cook Cruises also owns the PW Murray Princess which operates cruises along the Murray River. The investment fits well within SeaLink’s vision of connecting Australian icons and landscapes to the world.

The business also extended its footprint to Queensland in 2011 with the acquisition of Sunferries, a ferry passenger operation servicing Magnetic Island and Palm Island out of Townsville. This business was renamed SeaLink Queensland and expanded operations into tourism and charter services.

SeaLink was previously involved in running ferry services from Auckland, New Zealand for 7 years. After turning the business into a profitable operation, SeaLink sold its interests in 2011 following an unexpected offer which enabled the Company to record a significant profit.

A very recent development for the Company has been the addition of ferry passenger services in the Northern Territory, operating from Darwin to Mandorah and from Darwin to the Tiwi Islands. SeaLink was awarded these tenders following a competitive process, with operations commencing in September 2013.

They add further diversity to the SeaLink portfolio, and will be operated by SeaLink NT.

SeaLink currently operates a fleet of eighteen ships, ferries and other maritime craft, surveyed to carry passengers, and a fleet of twenty six coaches, buses and other passenger vehicles.

Managing Director, Jeff Ellison, said SeaLink has a track record of growing earnings both organically and through acquisitions.

“A key focus will be looking for growth opportunities in marine transport services as well as selected acquisition targets in the tourism and transport sectors,” Mr Ellison said.

“SeaLink’s operational skills along with its management capabilities position the Company to extract maximum value from these acquisitions.”

Continuing growth in tourism from China presents an opportunity for the Company to grow in its key markets.

SeaLink will be listed on the ASX under the code SLK.

Revenues

Total operating revenue increased by $9.5M to $92M in FY 2013 with the increase partly attributable to Captain Cook Cruises which had a full 12 months trading compared to FY12.

Revenue for Financial Year 2014 is forecast to be $98.5 million, reflecting growth from Darwin and a steady increase in passengers across the Group. Total passengers are forecast to be over 2.15 million in FY14.

Debt Position

SeaLink has total debt facilities in place of $31.8 million which comprise a combination of bill facilities, hire purchase arrangements, overdraft and other general use facilities.

At Listing, it is expected that SeaLink will have drawn debt of $4.1m, unused facilities of $27.7m, and a Gearing Ratio of 7.3%, in each case, assuming full subscription under the Offer.

Dividends

SeaLink has a long history of paying dividends. Since FY04, SeaLink has declared dividends every year with a total over the period of $38.8m.

For FY14, SeaLink intends to pay a fully franked dividend providing a dividend yield of 6.5 % based on the issue price of $1.10 per share. This equates to a payout ratio of 65% on the pro forma NPAT and 72.3% of forecast reported NPAT.

SeaLink has delivered a Compound Annual Growth Rate of dividends over the 10 years to FY13 of over 12.2%.

Prospectus

The Prospectus is dated 6 September 2013 and was lodged with ASIC on that date.

Within seven days of the date of the Prospectus, the Company will apply to the ASX for listing of the Company and quotation of the Shares on the ASX.

Neither ASIC nor ASX (or their respective officers) take any responsibility for the contents of the Prospectus or the merits of the investment to which the Prospectus relates. No New Shares will be issued pursuant to the Prospectus later than 13 months after the date of the Prospectus. New Shares issued under the Prospectus will be issued on the terms and conditions set out in the Prospectus.

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