Bank deal for Elders

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
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Elders claims it is at the starting line and ready to compete as a lean agribusiness after securing a new deal with banks and moving to raise $57 million to clear the last of its term debt.

Its share price shot up more than 20 per cent yesterday after the 175-year-old company came out of a trading halt.

Chief executive Mark Allison said the refinancing and equity raising put Elders on target to achieve its goal of lifting earnings to $60 million and achieving a 20 per cent return on capital by 2017.

"We will no longer be distracted by a conglomerate asset structure, asset sales or debt repayments," Mr Allison said.

Elders issued 68.25 million shares at 15� to raise $10.2 million and confirmed a three-for-five non-renounceable entitlement offer to contribute $47 million.

Mr Allison said the new banking facilities, involving the ANZ, Rabobank and NAB, gave Elders flexibility and scope to grow the business during normal seasonal fluctuations.

It is tipping underlying earnings of between $23 million and $28 million in 2013-14 - a turnaround of up to $77 million on the previous year. Elders shares jumped 5¢ to 26¢.

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