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:: Acquisition of the Biox Group
Bateman Engineering is pleased to announce that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the Biox technology business (“Biox Business”) from the Gold Fields Group for a net cash consideration of USD 8.84 million.
The Biox Business is the owner of a proprietary and patented technology, known as the BIOX process, for the pre-treatment of refractory ores and concentrates ahead of conventional cyanide leach for gold recovery. The BIOX process has many advantages over conventional refractory processes such as roasting, pressure oxidation and nitric acid leaching. These include improved rates of gold recovery, lower capital cost, low operating expenditures, low levels of skills required for operation, and being environmentally friendly.
Included in the sale is a second technology, currently in development, for the efficient removal of thiocyanate and cyanide from leach solutions. The technology, known as ASTER (Activated Sludge Tailings Effluent Remediation), is currently being tested in a number of pilot plants and if commercially viable could be applied to many conventional gold processing plants worldwide.
As part of the transaction Bateman will be acquiring Biomin Technologies SA (“Biomin”), a Swiss registered entity, holder of the material relevant intellectual property, patents and trademarks as well as the majority of the licence agreements.
In the financial year ended 30 June 2007 the Biox Business reported revenues of USD 907,000 and an operating profit of USD 45,000 excluding inter-company charges. The business has recently signed material licence fee and royalty agreements with customers which should position the business well for future growth.
The purchase of the Biox Business will bolster Bateman’s technology offering and strategically position it for several gold opportunities over the coming years. The business will be incorporated into the Bateman Engineering Projects Strategic Business Unit and will become a Centre of Excellence within the Bateman Group.
Bateman Engineering anticipates that the acquisition will be earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership. The principal outstanding condition precedent is the approval of the transaction by the South African Reserve Bank. The transaction is anticipated to be completed during November 2008.
Commenting on the acquisition, Eddie du Rand, CEO of Bateman Engineering said: “The Biox acquisition is a major stride towards Bateman becoming a technology company and is in line with our strategic focus on Centres of Excellence. It provides opportunities not only in Gold leaching but also offers an additional area of expertise to our current and future gold customers. The revenue derived from existing licence and royalty agreements are anticipated to immediately contribute to our financial results."
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