Seek dumps its $125m debt issue

THE online jobs group Seek has dropped its $125 million subordinated debt issue after a cool response from a risk-averse retail market.

THE online jobs group Seek has dropped its $125 million subordinated debt issue after a cool response from a risk-averse retail market.

The company said it was "not satisfied" that it would win acceptable terms at this point, and believed it was "not in the best interests of shareholders" to proceed.

"Seek is strongly capitalised and funded, given its existing bank facilities, cash held on its balance sheet and the continuing strong cash flow," the company said yesterday.

Analysts said the company remained in a strong capital position, but other hybrid offers from top-rated financial stocks were likely to be more attractive to investors than Seek's offering.

"The decision to pull the raising is a positive for the long-term development of the country's hybrid capital market," said Investorfirst Securities analyst (and BusinessDay columnist) Stewart Oldfield. "In this instance, professional investors were not offered an appropriate mix of risk and reward."

Seek is one of the best-performing Australian media companies, having traded as high as $7.55 in the past year. But the shares dropped after the announcement yesterday, closing at $6.50.