Investment Matters

Company News: Worley, Paladin Energy, Challenger & Origin Energy

Worley (positive impact) announced the acquisition of 3sun Group Ltd, a UK based offshore wind energy installation, inspection and maintenance business. The company was acquired (the entire company, not just the equity) for a value of £20m (approximately A$38m).

The acquisition positions Worley to benefit from the growth of offshore wind energy services sector in the UK and Europe.  Furthermore, Worley’s financial strength, data analytics capability and technical expertise is expected to allow the company to extend its capabilities to larger projects and larger operations and maintenance contracts and the breadth of its offering.  The merger will also allow 3sun to leverage Worley’s global presence to expand operations into North America and the Asia Pacific.

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Paladin Energy (positive impact) appointed a new Non-Executive Chairman in Mr Cliff Lawrenson.  Mr Lawrenson is currently Non-Executive Chairman of both Pacific Energy Limited (power generator) and Primero Group (an engineering and contracting company servicing the minerals, energy and infrastructure sectors) and was formerly an executive at Atlas Iron.

Mr Lawrenson replaces Mr Rick Crabb who retired last month after a tenure of 16 years as Non-Executive Chairman.

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Challenger (neutral impact) held its annual general meeting in which it reaffirmed its profit guidance for FY-20 of $500-550m and confirmed its targeted payout range of 45-50% of normalised net profit after tax.

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Origin Energy (neutral impact) released its quarterly production report. The company saw a decline in electricity volumes over the September quarter (-8% vs the previous September quarter) and gas volumes (-7% vs the previous September quarter). However, this was offset by its Integrated Gas division, with increased production and higher prices at APLNG  leading to a 7% increase in revenue for the division in the quarter.