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Briefcase: Business snippets from around South Australia


In this week’s briefcase, Port Lincoln tuna farmers join forces to open a retail outlet in Burnside Village, a uranium explorer moves toward production on Eyre Peninsula and Charter Hall receives a global certification for its GPO office tower.

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Codan completes US acquisitions

Mawson Lakes company Codan has this month completed the acquisition of two US companies in a bid to boost its Communications division.

The company last week announced it had completed a deal to buy US-based Domo Tactical Communications from a private equity firm. It followed a May 7 announcement it had finalised its acquisition of Zetron from JVC KENWOOD corporation for $59 million.

Under the DTC deal, Codan has made an upfront payment of $114 million (USD$88 million), with the possibility of an additional payment of up to $21 million (USD$16 million) if certain earn-out targets are achieved in calendar year 2021.

The South Australian technology company flagged the acquisition in February, on a cash-free, debt-free basis with the deal to be fully funded from existing cash reserves.

Codan – which has divisions in communications, mining, automation and metal detector manufacturing – recorded a profit of $64 million in August for the 2020 financial year.

The result included sales in its communications and metal detection divisions, totalling $348 million, and established the Adelaide-based company as one of South Australia’s fastest-growing firms.

DTC is a US-headquartered technology provider for high bandwidth wireless communications with specialist capabilities to provide wireless transmission of video and other data applications to predominantly first world customers, including military and special forces, intelligence agencies, border control, first responders and broadcasters.

Codan chief executive Donald McGurk earlier this year said the acquisition would allow the company to provide total communications solutions with the addition of video and data to traditional voice-only platforms.

Zetron, which has more than 200 staff in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, was expected to contribute about $67 million in sales under Codan’s ownership in FY22.

Zetron offers a suite of integrated emergency response technologies that are complementary to Codan’s existing products. These include voice dispatch, emergency call-taking including Next Generation 911 (NG911), mapping, computer-aided dispatch and fire station alerting.

It will add to Codan’s existing North American presence, growing our current employee base from 140 to 320 as a result of this acquisition.

Tuna farmers open premium outlet at Burnside Village

Three major Port Lincoln tuna businesses have joined together to open Australia’s first dedicated retail store selling premium Southern Bluefin Tuna at Burnside Village.

Located within the new Angelakis outlet, KIN Seafood is a partnership between  Blaslov Fishing’s Simoan Hayman and Craig Hughes, Dinko Tuna’s Lukina Lukin and Michael van Doorn, and the Stehr Group’s Marcus Stehr and Kylie Petherick.

KIN Seafood plans to expand into other states and take the retail model to the food capitals of the world.

The outlet sells a range of super-premium Southern Bluefin Tuna cuts including contemporary products such as cured tuna heart – a luxury treat used to shave over pasta or flavour sauces; and mojama – a tuna-derived prosciutto that’s earned super-premium status among European foodies.

KIN director Simoan Hayman said she was delighted to make the highest-grade Australian-caught Southern Bluefin Tuna available direct to local consumers in a dedicated store for the first time.

“We’re aiming to create a unique experience for our customers when they visit our store, through beautifully presented products, informed and educated staff, and premium seafood that simply cannot be purchased anywhere else in Australia,” she said.

Alligator partners with Traxys as it moves towards uranium production

Uranium explorer Alligator Energy has partnered with the US arm of global commodities trader Traxys to market future uranium produced at its South Australian Samphire Uranium project.

Under the five-year agreement, Traxys will provide Alligator Energy’s future uranium marketing services, long term off-take contracting and project development financing of around $19 million.

Alligator last year purchased the Samphire Uranium Deposit on Eyre Peninsula, located inland from Cowleds Landing south-west of Whyalla.

It said the deal would help accelerate development at the company’s Samphire Uranium Project and maximise future product pricing and project revenues.

Alligator said the relationship would help transition it from a junior explorer and development company to a bona fide uranium producer with a global supply profile and a matching market cap.

“This exciting strategic partnership with Traxys will provide expanded opportunities for Alligator in the project development, uranium offtake and targeted acquisition arenas,” Alligator CEO Greg Hall said.

“With planning for the upcoming Samphire Project drilling program well underway and agreements in place with ANSTO for updated metallurgical testing, the Traxys agreement adds exceptional experience towards our goal of becoming a future uranium producer.”

CBD hostels sell following business closures

Former Wakefield Street hostels The Guest House and Backpack Oz have recently been sold to separate buyers, with Jordan Schmidt from Colliers Real Estate, saying both buildings went for between five and 10 per cent of the asking price.

The Oz Backpack building, on the corner of Wakefield and Pulteney streets was advertised for $1.85 million while The Guest House was on the market for $1.25 million.

Schmidt said Backpack Oz’s positioning and exposure placed it in an ideal spot for redevelopment.

He said the Guest House lent itself to being used in its current form for the short term but may be turned into office space following renovations.

In March, CityMag reported the family behind the Backpack Oz business had shut up shop due to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus.

The business was among a string of Adelaide hostels facing tough times after travel restrictions forced many accommodation businesses to close.

A heritage-listed former hostel and bar in Glenelg – colloquially known as ‘The Backpackers’ – also hit the market for the first time in more than two decades last month.

The three-storey 1878 building remains on the market, with expressions of interest set to finish May 24.

GPO Exchange earns gold wellness award

Charter Hall Group’s landmark Adelaide office tower – the GPO Exchange – has been upgraded from a silver to gold WELL Certification.

Certifications are awarded to projects focusing on enhancing people’s health and wellness. There are four certification levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The Group said the award from the International WELL Building Institute recognised the Adelaide property’s design and technological capabilities, as well as the company’s commitment to creating a sustainable workplace environment for the future.

It said it had scored the accolade after introducing a range of wellbeing policies, including requiring food to display nutritional information in a bid to help people make healthy choices and reducing toxic cleaning materials.

The $260 million GPO Exchange office tower and heritage-listed building in Adelaide’s CBD was also recently awarded a 5.5 star National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) energy rating and 5 star NABERS water and indoor environment ratings.

The national environmental rating system measures the operational efficiency of a building and is scaled between one and six stars.

“GPO Exchange is raising the bar for commercial sustainability in South Australia and has set a new benchmark for workplaces in this State. This incredible milestone is recognition of that,” said Charter Hall Development Executive George Roussos.

“Charter Hall continues to lead the way in delivering innovative buildings that support sustainability and a healthy working environment. This impressive accolade further demonstrates Charter Hall’s commitment to excellence in sustainability and creating better workplaces.”

Federal cash to prop up oil refineries

Australia’s two remaining oil refineries will be given up to $2.3 billion in taxpayer cash to stay open and contain the cost of fuel.

The public money will be shared between Ampol in Brisbane and Viva in Geelong, dished out based on how much petrol and diesel each refinery produces and what profit margin they make on the fuel.

The package also includes $302 million to help both companies upgrade their facilities.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the payments as a matter of economic and national security.

He expects the package to preserve 1250 jobs and save drivers one cent per litre on petrol.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Daniel Walton said the funding would safeguard critical assets.

“We couldn’t afford to become a nation without the capacity to produce crucial fuels, hoping shipping lanes remain open,” he said.

Australia’s refining capacity has been sliding backwards for more than a decade, accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, which slashed demand for jet fuel and drove down margins.

As a consequence, BP closed down its refinery at Kwinana in Western Australia and ExxonMobil shut its plant at Altona in Victoria.

If the two remaining refineries were to close, Australia would be forced to import all its fuel from overseas.

– with AAP

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