200809 Grindrod Rainbow.photo supplied

Johannesburg - South African transport firm Grindrod has raised 2.4 billion rand via the issue of new shares to fund the expansion of its Mozambican and domestic terminals, it said on Friday.

Grindrod, whose trucks, trains and vessels haul everything from coal to fuel and vehicles, sold 96 million shares at 25 rand each, a 1.6 percent discount from Thursday's closing share price.

Its stock has recovered from year lows hit in March, when its board approved the shares-for-cash project, and it was up 1.7 percent at 25.89 rand by 13:09 SA time.

“There's such huge demand for the shares around the 25 rand. They have managed to raise the capital they said the would and the market is taking confidence from that,” said Greg Davies, an equity trader at Cratos Capital.

The bulk of the shares sold in the “significantly oversubscribed” accelerated bookbuild were taken up by the firm's biggest shareholders: Remgro Ltd and the Grindrod family.

The company was aiming for 2 billion rand when it launched the fundraising on Thursday with more than half of the money expected to come from its top two shareholders.

Grindrod has been cutting its reliance on its shipping unit following the 2009 global recession that hit world trade and slashed shipping rates.

It has been investing heavily in its ports and terminals in Mozambique, where it runs a terminal in Matola.

The Matola terminal, outside Mozambique's capital Maputo, is an increasingly important route for South African companies that have been struggling to ship all their coal for export due to congestion on railways leading to domestic terminals such Richards Bay.

Grindrod also said some of the money would be used to increase the capacity of its Richards Bay terminals, which provides export services for coal miners such South Africa's Exxaro Resources. - Reuters