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Briefcase: SA business snippets

Business

Welcome to Briefcase, a quick tour of announcements, awards and events showcasing the everyday exploits of SA businesses.

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REISA names inaugural CEO

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia has named former Gawler Cancer Foundation chief Barry Money as its inaugural CEO.

Money and his young family relocated to Adelaide from the Yarra Valley in Victoria at the end of 2020 for the role. He previously spent almost three years as the head of the cancer not-for-profit.

His appointment comes a month after the industry body announced a new board and property professional Fairlie Delbridge as its new chair in line with an organisational restructure.

Under the new structure, REISA is led by a CEO and chair and no longer appoints a president.

Money started his career as a business consultant with Toyota Motors in Japan before moving to Australia as general manager, retail development with the company.

He said he’d spent the past 15 years helping businesses including Jim’s Group and Connectable grow through innovation and technology.

The father of two said his background and keen interest in data, technology and innovation would help drive his latest role, with new products and services set to be announced in the first quarter of 2021.

“There is a heightened need for technologies and data-based insights that drive high-value strategies,” the UK-born CEO said.

“We obviously have the access to certain sets of data but we need to augment that and provide insights from much better data sets.

“In the first quarter, we’ll be going out with a revitalisation and possibly a reinvention of some of the products and services we already provide and then complementing those products and services with new products and services.

“Data is obviously a powerful tool and it’s one of my key focuses at the moment.”

Looking to the real estate sector more broadly, Money said sentiment for the year ahead looked “very positive”.

“I think the market is very tight … and during Covid there haven’t been as many people putting their houses on the market and that’s pushed prices up. As we go into 2021 I think for a vendor it would be quite buoyant and therefore for the industry I think it’s very positive,” he said.

Mighty Kingdom eyes ASX

Mighty Kingdom CEO Philip Mayes. Image: Supplied.

Adelaide-based gaming company Mighty Kingdom plans to launch on the ASX before the new financial year and test its first original content before the end of 2021.

It comes after raising $4 million in a pre-initial public offering in 2020.

Founder and CEO Phil Mayes said the company, which employs 89 people, had received strong support from institution, family and sophisticated investors, which had helped accelerate the development of its own intellectual property games.

Mighty Kingdom currently receives licenses to develop games for major entertainment companies including Disney, Snapchat, LEGO, Sony and Moose Toy.

The independent game studio is looking to raise a further estimated $15 million through retail investors this year.

Mayes said the capital would not only help the studio develop its own “family-friendly” games but fund larger projects.

“That really allows us to dig deep into that original IP and make those investments,” he said.

“Games take 18 to 24 months from go to release and the more we raise the longer we can bake them and the better they’ll be and those returns will be.

“If you looked at our history of what we’ve been working on … we very much focus on doing broad family-friendly content. So we’ll be pushing into new markets and platforms but it will be coming from that core of storytelling and based in world-building and character-building by with a broader family-friendly appeal.”

He said the capital would also support the business as it prepares to launch on the ASX before July.

The game developer made its name with the children’s app Shopkins: Welcome to Shopville in 2015, which made the top 10 apps in the United State, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Based on Australian company Moose Toys grocery and household-inspired figurines – Shopkins – Mighty Kingdom developed the digital game to take the physical toy into the digital world.

Mighty Kingdom has released more than 20 games across a number of platforms, the most recent of which was mobile puzzle game Ana’s Manor. The game was developed in partnership with Canadian company Uken Games.

“Since its release in October, the Ava’s Manor game – with our partners Uken – has been downloaded over 1M times and has 90,000 daily active users,” Mayes said.

“This has shone a spotlight on the company capping off a highly successful and exciting year. We are now well-positioned to embark on the next phase of our development.”

It follows an announcement in December that former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie would become company chair and former PwC Australia partner Megan Brownlow a non-executive director.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Police Health Limited, an Adelaide based not-for-profit that operates nationally, is looking for a Product Manager to take end to end ownership of the flourishing organisation’s product. Reporting directly to the General Manager Marketing & Strategic Relationships, the successful candidate will have a strategic, commercial and analytical mindset, together with a pragmatic and hands-on approach. Relevant experience within a comparable product, commercial marketing or analytical role is essential, and a background in insurance or broader financial services is highly regarded. A competitive remuneration package including additional leave and employee benefits will be negotiated in order to attract the right candidate.

The City of Salisbury has an opening for a Manager Strategic Procurement to work closely with the General Manager Business Excellence. The manager is responsible for leading a team of contract and procurement professionals working to deliver value for money outcomes for the community. A key responsibility is providing strategic direction and organisational leadership for the Strategic Procurement Division in its transformation to a more strategically and commercially focused team. Senior procurement or contract management professionals with demonstrated procurement services experience in a comparably large and complex environment are encouraged to apply. As one of the more significant roles of its kind in South Australia, this is an excellent opportunity for a procurement professional to achieve work-life balance and stability and make a direct contribution to the greater community.

Iron Road launches Eyre Peninsula manufacturing plan

Publicly-listed SA company Iron Road has launched its master plan for a green manufacturing precinct at the proposed Cape Hardy Port on Eyre Peninsula.

In a release to the ASX last week, Iron Road said the plan would integrate an iron ore “green pellet” plant fuelled by renewable energy, using high-grade iron ore concentrate from its Central Eyre Iron Project.

The project aims to become the Eyre Peninsula’s only deep-water multi-commodity export port, supporting the region’s grain growers and opening significant opportunities for a wide range of agricultural and resources producers.

Iron Road announced to the market in September it had signed a joint development agreement with Macquarie Capital along with project partner Eyre Peninsula Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited.

The $250 million project is now targeting financial close by the end of September 2021 with Macquarie also providing financial advisory services to the project.

Iron Road will retain the right to hold up to 25 per cent of the project at financial close while maintaining 100 per cent ownership of the 1100ha port site and the Central Eyre Iron Project.

Subject to a final investment decision being made, construction of the port between the Eyre Peninsula towns of Port Neill and Tumby Bay will commence in late 2021 with operations to begin in 2023.

The unveiling of the green manufacturing precinct also follows capital investment by Japanese multinational Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in November.

Global circular economy business purchases Biobag

Italian bioplastics company Novamont Group has acquired Adelaide-based BioBag World Australia’s parent company – BioBag International – for an undisclosed figure.

BioBag, which creates compostable alternatives to plastics using the patented material Mater-Bi Resin, also has factories across Europe and the US. Novamont is the supplier of Mater-Bi Resin.

Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli said the expansion would allow the company to grow its model of circular bio-economy.

“By joining our best skills and energies and fully integrating our supply chains we can better serve our partners upstream and downstream while further accelerating circular solutions for different market sectors and for communities pursuing our goal of producing more with less,” she said.

BioBag World Australia is a joint venture between the South Australian company Peakfresh and the global company BioBag International.

BioBag World Australia managing director and PeakFresh director Scott Morton hailed the acquisition as an exciting move for the circular economy.

He said there would be “no known changes” to the South Australian business as a result of the ownership change and that BioBag World Australia products would continue to be made in Adelaide.

New scanning technology at Tonsley

Egon Perilli demonstrates the new scanner’s capabilities at Tonsley. Image: Flinders University.

A high volume scanner capable of providing intricate details of large objects will give South Australian researchers new insights into 3D printed devices and manufactured parts, according to Flinders University.

Project lead associate professor Egon Perilli said the UK-developed Large Volume Micro-CT (X-ray micro-computed tomography) – which was unveiled at Tonsely last week – would enable 3D printed parts and manufactured devices to be scanned for defects without damaging irreplaceable specimens and prototypes.

He said similar devices could usually only scan an item the size of a soft-drink can.

“X-ray micro-computed tomography (Micro-CT) is one of the most versatile non-destructive investigative techniques with applications spanning the biomedical, engineering, palaeontology, biology, geoscience fields and more,” Perilli said.

“The internal microstructural details of large samples we can now image with this system will open up a world of new possibilities, which until now was restricted to only small specimens or excised biopsies.”

It’s hoped the technology will allow South Australian researchers to scan large human bones, ancient fossils and machine parts in fine detail as well as providing fresh insights about the makeup of 3D objects.

The University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences said the scanner would also allow researchers to examine large animals such as dolphins.

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