Resourcehouse revives plan for US$3b offering

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2011, 12:00am

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer's mining company Resourcehouse has revived its US$3 billion Hong Kong listing plan despite recent market jitters from the political tensions in the Middle East and North Africa.

A Hong Kong flotation of Resourcehouse's assets in Australia was postponed last year but the firm, which counts China's state-owned companies as its partners, has started premarketing its offering to institutional investors, according to people familiar with the transaction. In premarketing, a company and investment bankers determine investor interest in an initial public offering and try to establish a price range.

The official investor roadshow will start on March 14 and Resourcehouse is expected to join the Hong Kong stock exchange on April 14. Bank of China International Holdings and JP Morgan are managing the share sale.

Resourcehouse aims to use the majority of the proceeds to finance its coal mine in Queensland's Gallilee Basin, also known as the China First coal project, in partnership with Metallurgical Corporation of China, the state-owned engineering firm that bought a stake in Resourcehouse for US$200 million last year.

The mine is expected to start production between the second quarter and the last quarter of 2014.

Resourcehouse will produce up to 40 million tonnes a year of thermal coal from the Queensland mine for export over 25 years.

This means the mining company is not expected to have any revenue or profit until 2015.

The Hong Kong stock exchange currently allows resource firms that cannot meet the three-year profit track record requirement to list on the main board only if they have 'adequate economically exploitable reserves' backed up by expert opinion. They must also provide estimates of the time and investment needed to bring their projects into revenue-earning production.

People with knowledge of the offering said that the Hong Kong bourse had approved the share sale.

Bank of China International estimated that the company would be able to produce net income of A$1.4 billion (HK$11.11 billion) in 2015.