14/05/2020 - 15:11

Viburnum buys into Cranecorp

14/05/2020 - 15:11


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Private investment group Viburnum Funds has acquired a majority shareholding in Henderson-based Cranecorp Australia in a deal believed to be worth about $50 million.

Viburnum buys into Cranecorp
L-R: Cranecorp founder Rick Musarra, CEO Rod White, and Craig O'Donnell. Rear: Marshall Allen (standing) and James O'Mahony, from Viburnum Funds.

Private investment group Viburnum Funds has acquired a majority shareholding in Henderson-based Cranecorp Australia in a deal believed to be worth about $50 million.

The new investment has enabled executive director and significant shareholder Craig O'Donnell to exit Cranecorp after more than 20 years with the company.

Cranecorp’s other directors and management, including founder Rick Musarra, chairman Rod Evans and chief executive Rod White, will remain.

Viburnum’s managing partner Marshall Allen and his Singapore-based colleague James O'Mahony will join the Cranecorp board.

Mr Allen said his Nedlands-based group was impressed with Cranecorp, which was founded as Goldfields Crane Hire in Kalgoorlie in 1994.

“It’s extremely well run, with a high calibre team, and a track record of execution for major assets and clients,” he said.

“We target investment in industrial businesses in the $50-$100 million range with particular exposure to the mining, energy and resources sectors, so Cranecorp was a very appealing proposition for us.”

This deal comes just a few months after a management buyout at Viburnum, which previously counted Wyllie Group as a major shareholder.

Mr Evans said the deal would catapult Cranecorp into the top tier of Australian crane operators.

“We are very excited about what the new relationship with Viburnum will bring,” he said.

“They focus on investing in successful mining services companies like Cranecorp, and we share a common vision about how we would like to grow the company. 

Mr Evans said the deal would enable Cranecorp to add to its fleet of quality, modern equipment.

The business has more than 135 assets and 175 staff and operates from eight locations across WA, providing shut down and maintenance lift services across the mining, oil and gas, utility, renewables and manufacturing sectors.

Cranecorp’s growth has been aided by several acquisitions, including MRM Crane Hire in 2014, and assets from Port Hedland business Gravity Cranes in 2017 and Canning Vale-based Force Cranes in 2018.

It was one of the winners in the 2018 Business News Rising Stars awards, which recognise fast growing businesses in WA.

Cranecorp was advised on the Viburnum deal by Azure Capital.

Viburnum’s private equity portfolio includes Brisbane-based downhole services company MPC Kinetic Group, mining technology business Minnovare, Singapore-based Shelf Subsea and Aberdeen-based Centurion Group.

Its most recent acquisition, completed early this year in partnership with Houston-based SCF Partners, was of Contract Resources. Sydney-based Contract provides specialised industrial and mechanical services to the oil and gas industry, with a focus on companies operating in WA's north west.

Another recent acquisition was Wangara-based MTi Group, which supplies blasting consumables (predominantly blast bags) globally.



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