Aerospace parts developer Quickstep says it has secured $17.3 million in a convertible notes issue and placement to prepare for its Joint Strike Fighter program and establish manufacturing facilities at Bankstown Airport in Sydney.
The company said it had issued $14 million in convertible notes to US-based financier La Jolla Cove Investors and had raised a further $3.3 million in a share placement to sophisticated and professional investors, including La Jolla and major shareholder Washington H Soul Pattinson, at 32 cents a share.
The company said it would also raise more cash in a share purchase plan for existing retail shareholders.
Quickstep said options to access further funds from La Jolla, along with expected funding assistance from the Australian Federal and State Governments should see it have access to additional capital of more than $30 million by the end of 2012.
Funds raised are slated for completion of the move to Boeing's former Bankstown facility; preparation and start of production under a memorandum of understanding with Northrop Grumman/Lockheed Martin and Marand/Bae Systems, covering 22 years and some $700 million of production.
Money would also be used to further develop the company's technology for use in the global automotive and aerospace industries.
Quickstep managing director Philippe Odouard said the company was confident that its position as the largest independent aerospace composite manufacturer in Australia put it in an outstanding position to win further substantial defence contracts, as demonstrated by the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky.
Quickstep shares were off three cents, or 8.33 per cent, to 33 cents at 9am after emerging from a trading halt.