Equipment & Technology, Mining and Heavy Industries

Bradken has fund support, as former boss works on Moly-Cop buy

Bradken-built wagons in Kwinana, WA. Photo: Bradken

Former Bradken chief executive Brian Hodges is said to be working with the US private equity firm looking to acquire Arrium’s Moly-Cop grinding media business.

Hodges left Bradken – an ASX-listed manufacturer of mining, processing, transport, and fixed plant equipment and consumables – at the end of 2015, after running the business for 18 years.

Now, according to reports, he is working with US private equity firm Argand Partners, to help in that firm’s potential acquisition of Moly-Cop, the grinding media manufacturing subsidiary of South Australian iron ore and steel business Arrium – formerly known as OneSteel.

Arrium has been seeking a potential buyer for Moly-Cop for some time, as it deals with the slump in iron ore prices, which has seen it mothball some of its South Australian mines, and restructure its steelmaking operations.

Meanwhile, Hodges’ former business, Bradken, is said to have secured the long-term support of a Texan hedge fund, as it deals with the same market turmoil.

The Austin-based Teton Capital Partners increased its stake in Bradken from 7.43 million to 8.72 million shares on February 17. It acquired the 1.29 million new shares at 48.7c each, equating to a total new investment of $628,230.

A report in the AFR this week said the fund had held talks with Bradken and, impressed with the manufacturer’s cost cutting measures in recent times, has signalled it will support the company for the long haul.

“They see us as the best house on the worst street,” Bradken chairman Phil Arnall was quoted by AFR. “They see what we’ve done in the past 12 to 18 months.”

Bradken also announced on Monday that it had acquired a foundry in India, which it says will provide low cost manufacturing capacity in a location that has proximity to key customer markets in Australasia and Africa, as well as a large domestic market in India.

“We are pleased with the outcome and are looking forward to this business providing Bradken with a long-term, low cost manufacturing facility, which will complement our manufacturing footprint consolidation initiatives and enable us to focus our business growth plans on new market opportunities,” Arnall said.

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