26/07/2022 - 12:07

Thiess makes $350m bid for MACA

26/07/2022 - 12:07

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Thiess has launched an off-market takeover bid to buy Western Australia’s largest mining services business for an estimated $350 million in cash.

Thiess makes $350m bid for MACA
Queensland-based Thiess is seeking to acquire all shares in ASX-listed MACA. Photo: MACA

Thiess has launched an off-market takeover bid to buy Western Australia’s largest mining services business for an estimated $350 million in cash. 

Thiess is seeking to acquire all shares in MACA by offering shareholders $1.025 in cash for each share they hold in a deal that values the company at around $350 million.

MACA’s share price lifted 23 per cent on the news, with the offer representing a 28.1 per cent premium on the target’s Monday close price and a 42.2 per cent discount on its one month volume weighted average price.

MACA’s non-executive chair and co-founder Geoff Baker said Thiess had approached the business with a “compelling offer” and that the board intended to vote in favour of the deal.

“The board of MACA believes that Thiess is the right partner for the MACA business, with similar values and a desire to enhance services to our clients, and to carry on the community and charity engagement initiatives of which MACA is so proud,” he said.

Thiess will continue investing in our respected brand and will seek to provide additional development opportunities for our people as part of its national and international operations,” Mr Baker said.

Founded in 2002, MACA is Western Australia’s fourth largest contractor and largest mining services business according to Business News Data & Insights, employing around 3,250 people in the state.

This is largely attributable to its acquisition of Downer’s mining business in 2020, which added another 700 staff to its books at the time.

Queensland-headquartered Thiess is jointly-owned by unlisted construction business CIMIC, which also owns CPB Contractors, and private equity investor Elliott Advisers.

It is estimated to employ more than 12,000 people globally.

Acquiring MACA would grant Thiess a bigger operating presence in Western Australia.

Previously, Thiess worked on Fortescue Metals’ Solomon Hub in 2014 and at BHP’s Nickel West Operations in 2018.

Though its only listed WA contract at present is on the Mt Holland lithium mine, which is owned jointly by Wesfarmers and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM).

Thiess has a high regard for MACA’s service quality, and we believe our industry experience positions us well to enhance MACA’s value proposition to clients and employees,” Thiess chief executive Michael Wright said.

“We recognise and intend to maintain and grow MACA’s strong brand and presence in the Western Australian market.”

The deal will be subject to standard conditions including regulatory approvals from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

It comes weeks after managing director Mike Sutton resigned from his role after two and a half years with MACA, to be replaced by chief development officer David Greig.

Thiess will need to have secured a 90 per cent interest in the business at the end of the offer period.

Thiess’ bidder’s statement has been lodged and is expected to be dispatched to MACA shareholders in August.

Salient Corporate is providing corporate advice to MACA and Thomson Geer providing legal.

Macquarie Capital Australia and Lisle Group are financial advisers to Thiess and Squire Patton Boggs is legal adviser on the offer.

Shares in MACA last changed hands up 23 per cent at 98 cents in a $273 million market capitalisation.

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