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Briefcase: Business snippets from around SA


In this week’s briefcase, Adbri announces a $58 million plan to acquire a Queensland rival, SA’s most innovative women are honoured in the Winnovation Awards and the Adelaide Zoo wins big at the SA Tourism Awards.

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Adbri acquires Brisbane concrete and quarry business

Adelaide-based construction materials and lime producer Adbri will buy a Queensland concrete and quarry business for $58 million.

The company, previously known as Adelaide Brighton, announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) last week it had signed an agreement to acquire the Zanows’ Concrete & Quarries business.

Zanows operates two concrete plants, with approval for an additional concrete plant, a sand and gravel quarry, and a hard rock quarry located in the western area of Brisbane.

In addition to supplying sand and aggregates internally as part of operating an integrated construction materials business, Zanows provide these materials to a range of external customers in the southeast Queensland market.

The acquisition price of $58 million will be financed through Adbri’s existing debt facilities.

Adbri managing director and CEO Nick Miller said the acquisition provided Adbri with an integrated business that complemented its existing network of concrete assets in the greater Brisbane area.

“This acquisition provides access to quarries with approved reserves of over 70 million tonnes, that will provide a source of long-term, high-quality raw materials to supply our vertically integrated concrete network and external customers,” he said.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in January.

Adbri’s shares rallied on the back of Thursday’s announcement after steady declines in the past two months.

The company has a market capitalisation of just over $2 billion and is the largest producer of lime and concrete products in Australia, the second largest cement and clinker supplier to the construction sector and the fourth largest concrete and aggregate producer.

It was last month ranked No. 8 in InDaily’s 2021 South Australian Business Index of the state’s top 100 companies.

Top women recognised at innovation awards

Technology to continuously log bunch weight in wine grapes, the first “awake” sleep apnoea test for breathing problems affecting one billion people worldwide and a culturally-responsive way to teach nursing students about First Nations Health are among the 11 winners at the Winnovation Awards 2021.

Announced on Thursday night at a virtual awards ceremony, the awards aim to elevate South Australia’s innovative women by showcasing female change-makers and future role models driving innovation in their profession.

Other winners include an Australian-first STEM program delivering education in bushfire awareness and wellness to regional school communities, the world’s first, full-length, fully-voiced and interactive English children’s storybook designed for blind and deaf children and a national recruitment service with a social conscience.

President of Women in Innovation SA Nicole Swaine said the 2021 award winners were outstanding innovators undertaking projects with international impact.

“This year’s Winnovation finalists and category winners are incredible women, making significant advancements across industries which drive our economy,” she said.

The winners:

Rural, Regional & Remote: Carly Ascott, Bushfire Kids Connect – An Australian-first STEM program delivering education in bushfire awareness and wellness to regional school communities.

Social Impact: Carmen Garcia, Community Corporate – A national recruitment service with a social conscience, supporting corporates to maximise the untapped pool of skills, passion and experience among diverse groups.

Innovation and Intrapreneurship in Government: Susie Jones, SA Water – Corporate innovation at scale; evolving innovation at SA Water.

Arts:  Kathy Smart, Joy Everafter Stories – Producing the world’s first, full-length, fully-voiced and interactive English children’s storybook, accessible to blind and deaf children and with character customisation enabling all children to be heroes.

Emerging Innovator: Dr Amal Osman, Flinders University – Developing the first “awake” sleep apnoea test to quantify noisy snoring/breathing problems for one billion people worldwide.

Open: Nina Sivertsen, Flinders University – The Malpa Nursing Model, an innovative and culturally responsive way to teach nursing students about First Nations Health.

Young Innovator: Mary Kelly, Reusably – A tech platform supporting businesses and ecosystems to facilitate swap systems of reusable containers to help eliminate single-use plastic waste.

Science: Helen Banwell, University of South Australia – The use of 3D-printed foot models to safely teach scalpel debridement of foot ulcers to podiatry students.

Technology: Alice Fitch, Whola – A B2B fashion wholesale platform, making life better for more than 3,000 registered retailers by making their store instantly relevant to their target market.

Engineering: Amanda Mader, Vine Scout – The development of technology that continuously logs bunch weight in wine grapes, from veraison to harvest, for improved yield estimation accuracy, irrigation management and water-use efficiency.

Maths & Data: Menasha Thilakaratne, University of Adelaide – Using AI to help unlock new innovations in medicine to create a future with better health and wellbeing outcomes.

Wine roadshow moves online

Adelaide-based Finlaysons Lawyers will host its annual national wine seminar this week featuring industry heavyweights sharing legal and commercial knowledge.

Speakers at Thursday’s webinar will include Australian Grape & Wine CEO Tony Battaglene, Finlaysons Wine Partner Will Taylor and Wine Australia General Manager Corporate Affairs & Regulation Rachel Triggs.

Finlaysons, along with Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine, travel to Australian viticultural regions to provide legal and commercial advice to winemakers on topical industry issues relevant to their businesses.

In-person seminars were held in SA and WA wine regions in August and September but coronavirus restrictions prevented the live meetings from going ahead in Victoria, Tasmania and NSW this year.

In its 29th year, the online event will be dominated by strategies for entering new export markets in the wake of China’s decision last year to impose tariffs of more than 200 per cent on Australian wine, which has obliterated our biggest export market.

Presenters at the seminar will provide insights into the opportunities in various markets for Australian wine and provide some “tips and traps” in getting your wine into those markets.

Taylor said the situation with China was a lesson to exporters to not “have all your eggs in one basket”.

“A sustainable wine business needs to diversify its risk amongst a manageable number of key markets – enough to spread the risk of one collapsing, but not so many as to make it impractical to give them all due attention,” he said.

According to the latest Wine Australia report, exports to China fell by 77 per cent to $274 million in the year to September 2021, down from the previous average of $1 billion a year.

Overall wine exports have decreased in value by 24 per cent.

The webinar will be hosted by Australian Grape & Wine Chairman Sandy Clarke AO.

It will take place on Thursday, November 11 from 3.30pm – 5.30pm Adelaide time.

Click here to register.

Adelaide Zoo among big winners at SA Tourism Awards

The Adelaide Zoo has come out on top in the 2021 South Australian Tourism Awards, winning two major categories at the gala presentation on Thursday night.

The zoo won the Best Major Tourist Attraction and the Premier’s Service for Excellence awards at the local industry’s ‘night of night’ that recognised more than 30 category winners at an Adelaide Oval dinner that included 920 guests.

Five businesses were inducted into the South Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame after winning their respective categories for the third consecutive year.

They were: Beach Huts Middleton, BIG4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park, Kangaroo Island Safari, Seppeltsfield Barossa and the Willunga Farmers Market.

Another 49 businesses were also awarded silver or bronze medals.

Other category winners included Pichi Richi Railway (Tourist Attraction), Murray River Trails (Ecotourism), SeaLink (Major Tour and Transport Operators) and The Guardsman (Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services).

Most category winners will go on to represent South Australia at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards on the Sunshine Coast in 2022.

AmCham to host global tech giant at Future of Adelaide event

Asia Pacific Regional Vice President of Verizon, Rob Le Busque will fly into Adelaide this month to speak on industry expansion and digital technology opportunities at an American Chamber of Commerce lunch.

The “Future of Adelaide: A City Designed For Life” industry luncheon, will look to examine how Adelaide will continue to attract business, people and investment into the city in 2022.

General manager of AmCham SA Rasa Buckley says the future of Adelaide’s economy is dependent on making the state attractive to investment.

“Companies look for a combination of factors when making the decision to set up operations, most importantly the ease of doing business – by easing restrictions and opening borders, Adelaide is showcasing that it is a city committed to economic growth.”

The AmCham event takes on even more significance with the recent signing of the AUKUS accord and China trade disputes.

Alongside Verizon, speakers Nick Reade, Chief Executive of Department for Premier and Cabinet; the Lord Major, Sandy Verschoor, and South Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Caroline McMillen will join the discussion.

The lunchtime event will be held at Adelaide Oval Tuesday, November 23.

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