13/02/2014 - 13:09

Ruralco Holdings to buy Total Eden

13/02/2014 - 13:09

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Agribusiness Ruralco Holdings has agreed to buy Perth-founded water management retailer Total Eden Holdings for $57.4 million from Anchorage Capital Partners.

Ruralco Holdings to buy Total Eden

Agribusiness Ruralco Holdings has agreed to buy Perth-founded water management retailer Total Eden Holdings for $57.4 million from Anchorage Capital Partners.

The deal is the latest in a long history of acquisitions of the company, which operates 37 retail stores across Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Total Eden, which was founded by Perth brothers Ken and Ian Pitts in the 1970s, sells, designs, constructs and operates irrigation systems for the agricultural, construction and mining sectors.

The business was purchased by AMP Capital in 2005 and merged with east-coast based water management chain McCracken's.

Total Eden McCracken's was purchased by listed industrial brand manager Alesco for $250 million in 2007.

Alseco also bought Total Eden's WA rival, Hugall & Hoile, from the administrators of Australian Waterwise Solutions later that year. 

However Alesco struggled in following years and entered into an agreement to sell Total Eden to funds managed by private equity group Anchorage Capital Partners for just $20 million in 2011.

Ruralco's proposed $57.4 million acquisition of Total Eden will be partially funded by an entitlement offer to existing shareholders, which could raise about $43.8 million.

The balance of the purchase price for the acquisition will be funded through an increase in existing debt facilities.

"It is clear that water scarcity and security will be key issues over the coming years and efficient infrastructure and management of this resource will be key to our customers' prosperity," Ruralco managing director John Maher said.

"The investment in Total Eden is an important step in helping to mitigate the seasonal risks of Ruralco's operations."

Ruralco already operates four water businesses, providing irrigation products and services.

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