Aveng shares advance on R282m claim settlement and debt repayment plan

Gwen Catherine

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Shares in building and engineering group Aveng innovative for a second working day on Wednesday, closing over 6.6% up at R15.20, subsequent the group’s JSE Sens announcement on Tuesday afternoon, linked to the settlement of an uncertified claim in Australia and its update on external personal debt repayments.

The group’s share rate rose 5.68% (R15.06) on Tuesday, also buoyed by an update on progress it is making with the planned disposal of non-main asset Trident Steel.

Aveng noted that it has attained settlement on and been given payment of R282 million for a very long-exceptional declare that has been matter to protracted authorized proceedings.

It reported the assert was claimed in the amounts due from/(to) agreement buyers in its success for the six months to conclusion-December 2021. In these success, Aveng documented R1.67 billion as the internet quantities owing from agreement shoppers.

Read: Stefanutti, WBHO and Aveng settle multi-million-rand civil damages claim

Nonetheless, Aveng on Tuesday did not indicate by how significantly this settlement will minimize this volume. The group only mentioned that the settlement results in a tiny financial gain to the formerly claimed placement, reduced ongoing legal charges and the elimination of litigation uncertainty.

This dispute dates back prior to March 2016, when Aveng’s Australian subsidiary McConnell Dowell instituted action in opposition to a shopper to recover earlier expended costs.

“Through the program of this protracted litigation and hold off, McConnell Dowell has noticeably developed its business even with owning liquidity tied up in this dispute,” explained Aveng.

“The resolution of the dispute is a significant achievement and the ensuing more liquidity has at present been retained in McConnell Dowell and is reserved for foreseeable future investment decision options that incorporate incrementally to the group’s expansion and overall performance,” it added.

Debt reduction 

Aveng also announced that it has ongoing its personal debt reduction method for the duration of the yr to end-June 2022.

The team created a scheduled repayment of R275 million in June 2022 to cut down its exterior financial debt, by cumulative repayments by R350 million in the economical yr to conclude-June 2022.

“Should the Trident Steel transaction be properly concluded, it is expected that the proceeds will be utilised to settle the remaining credit card debt in South Africa, build further more liquidity and fortify the fiscal situation of Aveng,” it reported.

The disposal of Trident Steel is in line with Aveng’s 2018 strategy of disposing assets it considered non-core. To day, Aveng has received whole proceeds of far more than R1 billion from the disposal of non-main assets.

Trident Steel is the only remaining substance asset nonetheless to be disposed of in conditions of the system.

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Delayed disposal

The group has skilled difficulty in acquiring a buyer for Trident Steel despite the business’ extraordinary modern money success.

The delayed disposal resulted in Aveng remaining expected in terms of International Monetary Reporting Benchmarks 5 (IFRS 5) to reclassify Trident Steel as a continuing procedure, because the requirements to disclose Trident Steel as held for sale and discontinued operations have been not met at conclude-December 2021.

This reclassification partly contributed to Aveng’s normalised earnings for each share slumping by 55.6% to 67 cents in the 6 months to December 2021 from 151 cents in the prior time period.

Aveng verified on Tuesday that negotiations continue on to progress on the prepared disposal of Trident Steel.

The team noted previous month it was in highly developed negotiations with a credible buyer to dispose this business enterprise as a likely issue.

It said the due diligence is effectively innovative and will be finished as quickly as attainable, adding the transaction is issue to the conclusion of black financial empowerment (BEE) participation in the transaction and the completion of legal agreements.

Aveng mentioned the price of the transaction is expected to exceed Trident Steel’s noted internet asset value in the group’s 2022 interim final results.

Chronux Investigate analyst Rowan Goeller mentioned on Wednesday Aveng is finding some funds back from the Australian claim, but the group nonetheless has “quite significant debt”.

“As usually with these tasks, it is lots of years down the line, it’s considerably less than what they hoped for and all the authorized costs and other charges related with battling that assert are likely mounting up on the other side. But it’s some revenue in the bank.”

Goeller mentioned that Trident Metal will also carry in some income when that sale comes about, including: “It’s sluggish development and Aveng is not out of the woods [yet].”

One more analyst, who did not want to be named, mentioned Aveng’s declare settlement is good, specially as the group can move on now.

On the other hand, the analyst claimed design firms sad to say at the second are all about claims, no matter whether these are Covid-19 or “scope creep” connected.

In regard to the planned sale of Trident Steel, the analyst claimed: “Let’s [wait and] see. At the end of the working day, talk is low cost. Let us see when the deal concludes and what they arrive up with.”

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