Australia's Austral Refrigeration Merges with Hastie Group
Mar 10, 2004
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Private equity firm RMB Ventures has merged supermarket refrigeration company Austral refrigeration into Hastie Group, Australia's largest air-conditioning contractor.

The new group will have a turnover in excess of A$300 million (approx. U.S. $229.5 million) and will employ more than 1,000 people in Australia.

"We identified Hastie and Austral as attractive investments in 2001 and 2002 respectively, and the merger is an ideal match increasing the Hastie Group's market share in a competitive sector," RMB managing director Philip Latham said. "We expect the Hastie Group to continue to expand its revenue base locally and internationally over the coming years."

RMB said Austral will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hastie Group, but will retain its own name.

RMB completed all due diligence and acquired Austral for A$24.5 million from its UK parent company Enodis, a foodservice equipment manufacturer, back in 2001. In August 2001, RMB invested in Hastie, and the funds from that investment were used to acquire Direct Engineering Services to allow Hastie to fulfill its strategic plan of a full national service offering.

The private equity company still holds a majority stake in the new company, with a 50-percent holding in Hastie and a greater than 95-percent shareholding in Austral. RMB Group has a mandate to invest A$300 million in Australasian businesses. (Asia Pulse)

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