International oilfield service firm Hunting said yesterday it had raised about £71million by selling new shares in a move aimed at reducing its debt pile.
The London-based company reported net debt of £76.5million as if September 30.
It hopes to cut this to £57.5-£65.7million by the end of the year.
A total of more than 14.6million new shares – equating to nearly 10% of the company prior to the fundraising manoeuvre – were placed by Barclays Bank and Deutsche Bank.
Hunting chief executive Dennis Proctor said the move bolstered the group’s balance sheet and gave it additional funding to “respond to trading opportunities across the group as the oil and gas industry returns to growth”.
In a trading update, Hunting said its perforating systems and speciality manufacturing businesses had reported improvements in trading, particularly from onshore activities, during the past quarter.
It also said offshore deepwater and international drilling activity remained subdued and were likely to remain so in the short term, but management had noted “improving market indicators”.
Parts of the business – focused on US onshore activity – seemed to have “reached the bottom of the market and were preparing for a return to growth,” it added.
“Certain businesses across the group continue to report increased inquiry levels, however, the underlying market sentiment within our customer base is likely to remain uncertain in the short term,” said Hunting, which has reduced its global headcount by 46% this year in order to slash costs.
As of September 6, Hunting employed 210 people across four locations in the Aberdeen area: Altens, Dyce, Portlethen and Fordoun.