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Ausenco joins troubled contractor ranks
Ausenco joins troubled contractor ranks

Ausenco has become the latest mining services company to suffer a backlash from investors after running into financial trouble.

The contractor's shares crashed 45 per cent yesterday in their first day of trading since launching a heavily discounted capital raising.

The closing price of 66c was 41c below the issue price of Ausenco's $31 million equity raising.

Ausenco told the market during a trading suspension last week it was heading for a $36 million annual loss.

While the Queensland-based company first broke the bad news last Thursday, the shares remained suspended while a $17.5 placement to institutional investors was finalised.

The entitlement offer saw four shares offered for every 11 held. The remainder of the funds will be raised in a retail component.

Ausenco blamed a tough market and one-off costs and write-offs for downgrading its guidance. It has undertaken a management restructure and laid off about 200 staff.

The company's problems came to light at the same time as Forge Group detailed a $127 million profit writedown and rescue from potential insolvency by ANZ.

Forge's shares slumped 13¢ to 62¢ yesterday, its lowest closing price since resuming trading last Thursday.

The Perth-based engineering company had seen a bounce on Friday after the previous day's carnage when investors drove down its value 84 per cent.

Forge secured the ANZ deal after abandoning attempts to raise funds in the equity market. Institutional investors had been pushing for an issue price as low as 50¢ a share. The contractor suffered cost blowouts on two power station projects.