chart4.14AusGroup stock has rebounded from sub-20 cents in Dec 2013 to 41 cents currently, after sliding for the greater part of last year. Chart: BloombergFROM BEING in a precarious cashflow and loss-making position just a couple of months ago, Perth-based AusGroup -- which offers maintenance, construction and fabrication services to the mining, oil & gas and infrastructure sector -- has emerged strongly as a business to invest in.

This morning, it was announced that Ezion Holdings, itself a Singapore-listed company, has bought a 6.9% stake in AusGroup on 3 April via a married deal.

Ezion paid S$14.2 million for 39.9 million shares, or about 35 cents apiece. 

In an on-market transaction on the same day, a fund, Republic Investment Management, sold 3,293,000 shares for S$1.1 million, or 33.8 cents apiece.

The fund has ceased to be a substantial shareholder as its stake has now fallen from 5.1% to 4.53%.  

4stuart-kennyStuart Kenny, 61, returned to the CEO position in Oct 2013 after the departure of the previous CEO. NextInsight file photo.These transactions follow on another high-profile one in which Alan Wang Yu Huei, MD of Asdew Acquisitions, acquired 3.02 million shares on 4 March this year at 24.8 cents each. 

The purchase increased his direct holding to 36.520 million shares, or 6.32% of the issued capital.

His initial purchase on 23 Jan of 28 million shares via an AusGroup placement at 16.8 cents each had raised his interest to 5.79%.

Shortly after that placement, AusGroup announced on 11 Feb 11 a 16.7% drop in 2Q profit to AU$2.293 million for the 3 months to 31 Dec 2013.

Its loss in 1H was AU$12.82 million versus a profit of $9.079 million in the same period in 2012.

As at end-Feb, AusGroup’s order book stood at AU$388 million. 

Recent story: @ AUSGROUP'S AGM: Clarity on management change and other matters

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