PERTH transport company Mitchell Corporation is poised for further expansion after securing a $10 million investment from AMP.
Mitchell has achieved rapid growth since establishing its bulk logistics business seven years ago, with turnover rising to about $65 million in the current financial year.
With the backing of AMP, it expects turnover to reach $100 million in 2005-06.
AMP Capital Investors, a specialist private equity fund, will have a 30 per cent shareholding in the Kewdale-based company.
Managing director Craig Mitchell said Mitchell Corporation selected AMP as a cornerstone shareholder after inviting expressions of interest from a range of possible investors.
He added that Mitchell would remain essentially a family business.
“Our family culture is a recognised and desirable core value that underpins our performance across the board,” he said.
“Having AMP on our share registry is a great outcome and will add tremendous credibility and value to all our stakeholders, while also increasing our financial capacity to build the business.
“The opportunities that present themselves, in the resources and energy area that we target, are significant and outside the funding capabilities of the family.”
AMP representative Bill Cook will join Mitchell’s board, which is chaired by Perth business executive Gary Pearce and includes Craig Mitchell, his father ‘Pip’ Mitchell, and company executive Aaron Boddington.
Mr Mitchell said Mr Pearce played a key role in finalising the AMP investment while West Perth firm Mergers & Acquisitions had identified the list of possible investors and assessed their proposals.
Mitchell Corp has an impressive client list that includes BHP Billiton, BP, Caltex, Barrick, CSBP and Consolidated Minerals.
New clients included ARC Energy, Origin Energy and Newcrest’s Telfer gold mine, which is due to reopen this year following a $1 billion redevelopment.
Mr Mitchell said the old Telfer mine had been Mitchell’s first bulk logistics contract, won in 1997.
The company’s bulk haulage services include an innovative ‘dual haul’ system that integrates the cartage of bulk liquid, including fuel and acids, with bulk products such as ore or concentrate.
It has operations at Kewdale, Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie, as well as four locations in Queensland, and has 270 staff, including 204 drivers.
The company also has an award-winning workplace safety record, being one of only three Western Australian companies to receive Worksafe’s newest and highest standard of achievement, the Platinum award.
It also has been free of lost-time injuries for two years.