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DGL`s Annre:Downer Group Achieves A$150 M Debt Refin Target

Document date:  Wed 20 Oct 1999
Published:  Wed 20 Oct 1999 00:00:00
Document No:  193879
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N

DOWNER GROUP LIMITED                          1999-10-20  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Sydney                                                        

Major Australian engineering and project management service provider
Downer Group Limited (Downer) announced today the successful
completion of the issue of US$95 million unsecured Notes to US
investors. The issue was fully hedged and raised A$150 million. Bank
of America was the arranger for the issue.

The 0
Notes issue, which consists of long term interest only funding
with maturity periods of 5, 7, 10 and 15 years, provides Downer with
stable long term core debt arrangements. This substantially improves
Downer's working capital position and provides greater access to
additional working capital.

Downer also announced that in conjunction with the Notes issue it has
renegotiated its loan facilities with its primary lender ANZ Banking
Group. The new arrangements provide Downer wit0
h unsecured facilities.

Managing Director of Downer Mr Stephen Gillies said the funds raised
through the Notes issue are being used to repay short and medium term
debt. "This allows us greater access to free cash for the development
of the company," Mr Gillies said.

"Together, the US Notes issue and the new ANZ bank arrangements
provide Downer with a sensible mix of debt facilities given our long
term investment plans in mining and resources and provide greater
flexibility 0
in managing Downer's future borrowing requirements," he

Commenting on the success of the US Notes issue, Mr Gillies said he
was delighted at the response of US institutional investors. "Downer
has a good story to tell and we were pleased that the US market
recognised Downer as a stable and well positioned company in which to
invest," he said.

"In the last two years, Downer has built its business as an
Australian-listed multinational group of companies providing servic0
in the engineering, construction, mining and resource sectors in the
Asia/Pacific region. 

"In recent months, we have expanded our operations through
acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand, raised significant
capital, strengthened our balance sheet, established links with major
international investors and established Downer as an industry leader
in the complimentary services we provide.

"In a relatively short time, Downer's turnover has grown from $350
million to over0
 $1.4 billion, we have continued to improve
profitability and shareholders' funds have grown to around $345

"This refinancing is an important strategic step for the continuing
growth and development of the company," Mr Gillies said.

For further information contact Stephen Gillies, telephone (02) 9251
9899, or John Shuey (02) 9251 9899/0413 705 491 (all hours)