Adelaide Brighton eyes Penrice buyout

Byrebecca3360

Updated Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:37:10 GMT

Australia: Adelaide Brighton is among groups conducting due diligence on a limestone and marble quarry that is being sold off by the administrators of the failed Penrice Soda, which collapsed in April 2014 with debts greater than US$150m.

Adelaide Brighton is a major customer of the quarry near Angaston, South Australia, which is one of two assets up for sale. It runs a cement plant on the outskirts of Angaston, close to the Penrice quarry.

Adelaide Brighton is believed to be among shortlisted bidders for the quarry, which is attracting most of the interest in the asset sell-off. Final and binding bids are understood to be due by 25 June 2014 under agreements struck between the administrator and shortlisted bidders, who have asked for more time.

Adelaide Brighton has a strong balance sheet and a new chief executive, Martin Brydon, who took over from Mark Chellew in May 2014. The company may be able to pick up the asset at a modest multiple given that it is a forced sale by the administrators.

Penrice's Quarry and Mineral division has been heavily restructured and produced underlying earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$1.4m in 2012 - 2013 and EBITDA of US$3.9m in 2011 - 2012.