S'pore-based firm seeks $2.8m from Catalist IPO

Mr John Gronbech says the investment in equipment is necessary for NauticAWT to ramp up its response time to client needs as it expands globally.
Mr John Gronbech says the investment in equipment is necessary for NauticAWT to ramp up its response time to client needs as it expands globally.

A company that provides services for the oil and gas industry launched its initial public offering for a listing on Catalist yesterday.

Singapore-based NauticAWT was set up in November 2011 as Nautic Group. It changed its name to NauticAWT after its wholly owned subsidiary Nautic Australia acquired AWT International last year.

The group's revenue has grown from $13.5 million in the 2012 financial year to $21.3 million last year, while net profit increased from $1.3 million to $4.4 million over the same period.

NauticAWT is offering a total of 28 million shares, comprising 27 million placement shares and one million offer shares, priced at 20 cents each. Based on NauticAWT's net earnings per share of 3.41 cents for the financial year ended December 2014, the price-earnings ratio is 5.87 times. Although the group has no formal dividend policy, it also announced that it intends to pay an annual dividend of 20 per cent of its net profit until 2017.

It will allocate $1.1 million of the estimated net proceeds of about $2.8 million to working capital with $1.3 million going towards investment in capital equipment, said chief executive John Gronbech.

He said the investment in equipment is necessary for NauticAWT to ramp up its response time to client needs as it expands globally. The company has 11 offices worldwide.

The low oil prices that have hit energy exploration and production do not faze NauticAWT's management. Mr Gronbech said the firm will focus on contracting services for ageing and decommissioned structures.

The company believes there will be strong demand for its engineering services in enhancing the production of mature fields and sustainably plugging wells in abandoned ones.

Because of this specialisation, "we are definitely significantly less exposed to the volatility of oil prices", Mr Gronbech said.

He added that NauticAWT is looking to Mexico and the Middle East, where the number of platforms in mature fields represents growth potential. It is also optimistic about the number of wells that will have to be decommissioned in South-east Asia in the next five to 10 years.

Its outstanding order book for the year ahead is approximately US$34.6 million (S$47.1 million).

The public offer closes at noon next Tuesday and trading is expected to commence two days later.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore-based firm seeks $2.8m from Catalist IPO'. Print Edition | Subscribe