Briefcase: business extracts from South Africa

In this week’s briefcase, GFG Alliance says it has entered into a debt financing deal for its Australian operations, Wine Australia announces its new CEO, and Marmota takes full ownership of a uranium building in northeastern Australia. State.

GFG accepts new debt plan and strengthens UK funding

Whyalla steel mill owner GFG Alliance has said it has agreed to a debt restructuring plan for its Australian operations, potentially ending months of uncertainty over the mill’s future.

The global company also announced an injection of AU $ 93 million to reopen an English factory to save hundreds of jobs in the UK.

Liberty Steel’s £ 50million announcement affecting its Rotherham, South Yorkshire plant is part of a larger restructuring of GFG Alliance, the owner of Liberty, which has been forced to seek funding when its main lender, Greensill Capital, collapsed.

Restructuring director Jeffrey S Stein said the company has agreed to a debt restructuring plan in Australia, which includes the operations of Whyalla and a coal mine in New South Wales.

“I am pleased to announce a significant step forward in the global restructuring of GFG Alliance,” he said.

“The debt restructuring we have agreed for Liberty Primary Metals Australia gives clarity and stability to the business and ensures a clear recovery plan for creditors,” he said.

“The funding we are providing to Liberty Steel UK puts it in a strong position for business transformation and debt restructuring.”

British funding will allow the Rotherham plant to reopen after being closed for several months.

GFG Alliance Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “Thanks to the hard work and determination of our team, our Australian integrated operations are now profitable and have been performing well for many years.

“I would like to thank all of our stakeholders – the government, union representatives, customers, suppliers and of course our employees and the local community – for the support they have shown to GFG Alliance as we have succeeded in raising the challenges created by the Greensill collapse. “

Gupta has come under immense pressure since his company’s main supply chain financier, Greensill Capital, filed for bankruptcy in the UK in early March after billions of dollars in its credit insurance expired.

In Australia, Citibank, on behalf of Credit Suisse, filed a petition in the New South Wales Supreme Court in April to wind up Gupta’s OneSteel Manufacturing and Tahmoor Coal Pty Ltd businesses.

A successful lawsuit could have forced the Whyalla steel plant – the city’s largest employer with around 1,200 workers – into liquidation.

However, the lawsuit was suspended in May to allow more time for the finalization of a debt restructuring.

With PAA

Internationally renowned food scientist Dr Martin Cole has been appointed CEO of Wine Australia.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud today announced that Cole will take office on November 15, replacing Andreas Clark, who finished in July.

Littleproud said the hiring of a new CEO would bring certainty to the organization after a period of significant challenges, including COVID-19, drought and bushfires.

“Under Dr Cole’s leadership, Wine Australia will continue to fulfill its mission of supporting a competitive wine industry, developing national and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine,” said Minister Littleproud.

“The demand for Australian wine continues to grow at home and abroad, and Wine Australia is crucial in promoting Australian wine internationally as one of the safest, most sustainable and of the highest quality wines. in the world.

“Dr Cole was responsible for agriculture, food and wine at the University of Adelaide and brings to this position a wealth of scientific and leadership experience.

“I have no doubt that he will continue to support the organization on its journey towards Vision 2050 for the wine industry, which guides the direction of the sector over the next three decades. “

Clark worked for Wine Australia for 15 years, including eight years as CEO.

He also led the organization through its transformation from Wine Australia Corporation and its merger with Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation in 2014.

“During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Clark has provided leadership in driving strong growth in the value of wine exports through the $ 50 million Regional Wine and Export Support Program, while responding to significant challenges, including the drought and the 2020 bushfires, ”said Littleproud.

“I would also like to thank Steven Weinert for his management in the acting role since July.”

Adelaide-based transportable building builder Ausco Modular is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year after undergoing several expansions since its inception.

Ausco was established in 1961 as a subsidiary of the Alberta Trailer Company before taking its current name in 1986 and joining the Algeco Group in 2011.

Ausco’s regional manager for South Australia, Simon Manser, said the company is proud of its long-term contribution to construction in South Africa.

“Ausco has been a major achievement in South Australia and has provided an essential service to the state and to all of Australia for 60 years,” he said.

“South Australians can be very proud of what this company has produced.

“For us, it’s not just buildings, but classrooms in growing schools, housing for remote workers, changing rooms for sports clubs and facilities for first aid workers.”

According to Ausco, the company has assembled $ 245 million of modular buildings over the past six years, and has annual sales of around $ 390 million.

Ausco now exports to more than 40 countries and has facilities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, including five manufacturing sites, while continuing to operate from its original site in North Edinburgh.

South Australian mining company Marmota Limited bolstered its uranium prospects by acquiring the exclusive rights to the Junction Dam mine lease near Broken Hill.

The acquisition sees Marmota take back ownership of mining rights from Teck Australia, Eaglehawk Geological Consulting and Variscan Mines after the companies entered into a joint venture agreement in 2009.

The site in northeastern South Africa is also close to the former Honeymoon uranium mine, where Boss Energy plans to resume mining in the coming years.

As part of the deal, Marmota granted a combined royalty of five percent of the net profits generated from future mining at Junction Dam to the building’s former owners.

This consists of 4.38% royalties to Teck Australia, 0.12% to Eaglehawk and 0.5% to Variscan, according to Marmota.

Marmota halted work on the Junction Dam site in 2014 following the Fukushima nuclear disaster and no subsequent drilling has been undertaken since.

Gold mining has been Marmota’s primary focus since stopping work at the Junction Dam, one of its most successful years being in fiscal year 21, according to the company’s annual report.

President Dr Colin Rose said the deal means Marmota will have greater control over achieving its goals in the uranium industry.

“The acquisition of the Junction Dam building makes Marmota, for the first time, master of our own destiny in uranium space,” he said.

“This is the critical first step for the company to realize the value of this exceptional asset for our shareholders. “

Kid-friendly software to help raise awareness of bushfires

The Adelaide Hills Bushfire Kids Connect community group will scale up its bushfire awareness campaign, partnering with educational technology company Makers Empire to pilot a school program to educate children on bushfire awareness.

Australia’s first program will be piloted in 10 primary schools in South Australia, with the aim of helping students gain a better understanding of bushfires, their causes, environmental impact, and approaches to sustainable bushfire management.

The program will also focus on sustainable approaches to bushfire management, including indigenous land and fire management.

Makers Empire, based in Adelaide, designs and creates software to help children develop problem-solving skills, imaginations, and creative confidence.

Mandi Dimitriadis, director of learning at Makers Empire, said he looks forward to helping the next generation develop greater awareness on the subject.

“We look forward to working with Bushfire Kids Connect to help children learn more about bushfires, support their well-being, and empower them to solve problems caused by bushfires,” said he declared.

The program also includes a Learning by Design professional development course for teachers, which includes guest speakers on bushfire prevention, environment and wellness.

Carly Ascott, who co-founded Bushfire Kids Connect with her nine-year-old son Sebastian, says the program fills the void in supporting children’s mental health after the fires.

“This partnership with Makers Empire is an exciting opportunity to help our next generation develop their understanding, resilience and emotional preparedness in the face of bushfires,” Ascott said.

Bushfire Kids Connect has worked with over 100 families across South Australia over the past two years.

The program will start rolling out in schools during the month of October.

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