UPDATE 5PM: FROM a small concreting plant in Harristown, Wagners today listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, raising almost $200 million in less than three hours.

The family celebrated over glasses of champagne in Sydney.

Brothers Denis, John, Joe and Neill watched with parents Mary and Henry Wagner as investors heavily backed the public float of Wagners Holdings Company on the ASX.

Shares closed at $3.40 each, up more than 25 per cent from $2.71.

Chairman Denis was calm but clearly proud as he witnessed an achievement he never thought was possible when he helped found the business in 1989.

"We started with six trucks, 12 employees and we built the concreting plant in a workshop on Anzac Ave," he said.

"We started with a concrete plant in Toowoomba - did we imagine we'd end up down here? Absolutely not.

"But there are a whole lot of things we've done that people in the market have told us, 'you can't do that - it's too big or you don't have the ability'. This is just part of the evolution."

The company worked with advisors Morgans and Credit Suisse, as well as accountants PwC and law firm McCullough Robertson to raise $197 million capital through 72 million shares bought by new retail and institutional investors from Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Credit Suisse managing director Simon Cox said the offering, the third-largest of 2017 in Australia, suggested investor confidence in the work of the brothers.

"The air of certainty that the brothers exude is more about their total knowledge about the business," he said.

About half of the capital raised will go back into the company to pay down debt and drive growth, while the other $97 million will go to the family.

Mr Wagner said the business was focussed on the future, considering the relatively youthful management team and its new shareholders.

"We're an innovative company, we're a young company with a young management team, and we have so much potential to take our products all over the world."

Wagners celebrate.
Wagners celebrate.

UPDATE 1PM: Investors have given Toowoomba company Wagners a glowing endorsement at its public float on the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney this afternoon.

As family patriarch Henry Wagner rang the bell, the share price of Wagners Holding Company jumped to $3.31 as an opening price.

This marks a 22 per cent jump on the initial offering of $2.71, which ASX executives noted was extraordinary.

Company chairman Denis Wagner said it was a historic day for the company.

"Did we ever imagine we would end up here? Absolutely not, but there are a number of things we've done over the years that people have said we couldn't achieve," he said.

"This is part of the evolution of the business."

The Wagner brothers Denis, John, Joe and Neill drank champagne and heartily shook hands to celebrate with family and long-time co-workers after the initial float.



UPDATE 10.30AM: THE Wagner family will learn the fate of the company's public float on the Australian Stock Exchange within hours.

Patriarch Henry Wagner and wife Mary have touched down in Sydney this morning, along with several members of the family and long-service employees.

The chartered flight was paid for at the family's expense as a thank-you to loyal staff members, some of which who had been working with them for 24 years.

Company director Neil Wagner, who founded Wagner Investments in 1989 with his father and two brothers John and Denis, said the board had worked with financial planners, lawyers and accountants for three months to finalise the float at the ASX.

He considered the move, which is expected to raise $197 million today from 72 million shares, to be an important step forward for the concreting business.

"It's a new chapter for Wagners - we'll have access to capital, so when you need to act quickly, you can take to the market for more," Mr Wagner said.

"It's a $500 million business now, so what's the sky limit? It has potential growth."

Henry Wagner was asked to ring the bell at the ASX listing from 1.30pm AEDT, with shares starting at $2.71.

Mary and Henry Wagner.
Mary and Henry Wagner. Kevin Farmer

EARLIER: THE patriarch of Toowoomba's famous Wagner family will have the honour of ringing the bell at the Australian Stock Exchange today, to signal the company's public float.

Henry Wagner and his wife Mary will be there to watch his sons Denis, John, Neil and Joe try to raise nearly $200 million in one afternoon of trading in Sydney from 1.30pm AEDT.

It will mark an important milestone in the life of the massive concreting company, which was co-founded in 1989 Mr Wagner.

With a market capitalisation of $437 million, Wagners Holding Company will offer potential buyers more than 72 million shares at $2.71, the equivalent of 45 per cent of the company.

Chairman Denis Wagner said his father took some convincing.

"We had to convince him to do it (but) he reluctantly agreed," he said of his 83-year-old father.

"It is very symbolic - it is the biggest event that we as an organisation have been through to date, and we're very pleased that mum and dad come along."

Mr Wagner said he was excited for the growth opportunities of civil construction in the Darling Downs and across Australia.

"We are very excited to welcome a more diverse group of shareholders to the company," he said.

"We've gone to market so we can access different streams of capital to further enhance the growth opportunities for the company."


Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated Henry Wagner founding the concreting business in 1973. In fact it was 1989. The story also stated Mr Wagner would ring the bell at 12:30pm AEDT. The correct time is 1:30pm AEDT.


THE Chronicle will be flying with the Wagner family to Sydney today to report on the ASX float. Pick up Saturday's edition for full details.

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