Baker and McKenzie advised Gippsland Offshore Petroleum Limited on its Australian Stock Exchange listing (the first listing of the year) and capital raising of $12 million. The capital will be used to fund proposed activities and future opportunities principally in the offshore area of the Gippsland Basin. The listing follows the oil and gas exploration company’s prospectus, which offered 60 million ordinary fully paid shares at a cost of 20 cents each and closed over-subscribed. Unusually, the float was not underwritten or broker sponsored, yet the company had more than 1100 shareholders on listing, an indication of investor interest in the Gippsland Basin. Melbourne-based partner Richard Lustig led the Baker and McKenzie team, which completed the prospectus preparation and lodgement in just one month. “The IPO was characterised by its timely implementation in full satisfaction of regulatory requirements,” Lustig said. “A one month ‘hard at it’ process was effective to bring about the desired result.” He said this was an exception to the general rule that a float takes a minimum of three months to organise.
Middletons acted for Mesoblast Limited (an Australian biotechnology company committed to the commercialisation of adult stem cell technology for orthopaedic applications) on its recent initial public offering and listing on the ASX. On listing, Mesoblast had a market capitalisation of $46.76 million and the funds raised under the IPO are to be used to conduct further development of the technology in adult stem cells. Melbourne-based partner Andrew Gaffney led the Middletons IPO capital markets team, with technology partner Peter Howard leading the Middletons technology IP and commercialisation team. Gaffney said the transaction reflected the growing sophistication of the Australian market in that a significant part of the IPO raising was to be used under Mesoblast’s US investment contracts to acquire an interest in US company Angioblast Systems Inc - opening up the large US market in medical products for the Mesoblast shareholders.