Paydirt for SA business after big buyout

An Adelaide-based construction supplies firm has been bought for more than $80 million by an interstate retail giant.

Feb 06, 2024, updated Feb 06, 2024

Metcash announced the acquisition of South Australian construction and industrial supplies business Bianco on Monday as part of a $558.5 million spending spree.

The Sydney-based Metcash, which supplies independently-owned Mitre 10, Home Timber & Hardware, IGA, Foodland, Cellarbrations and more said the $82.2 million acquisition of Bianco alongside $64 million for construction services company Alipine Truss would support its “network expansion strategies”.

Metcash also announced the acquisition of Australian foodservice distribution business Superior Food for $412.4 million.

Kilburn-headquartered Bianco Constriction Supplies was founded in 1975, and operates 10 stores across South Australia and the Northern Territory, including at Newton, Mt Barker, Whyalla, Roxby Downs and Darwin.

Metcash CEO Doug Jones said he was “delighted to announce three strategically aligned, synergistic and financially compelling acquisitions that accelerate our growth strategy”.

“The acquisition of the Bianco Construction Supplies and Alpine Truss businesses are both strategically and financially attractive and follow our successful track record of consolidation in the fragmented hardware market,” Jones said.

“The addition of these two businesses support our Independent Hardware Group’s ‘Whole of House’ strategy and will enable us to further increase the proportion of materials we provide over the course of a house build, and extend our supply network across South Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria and Southern New South Wales.”

According to Metcash, Bianco generated $144 million in sales and a $13.9 million profit in the 12 months to 31 October 2023.

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The company said the deal would give it a larger footprint in the South Australian and Northern Territory hardware market, and “provides access to key trades not currently serviced”.

“It is also complementary to Metcash’s company-owned K&B business in South Australia and other independents in South Australia and Northern Territory and provides attractive margins and financial returns,” Metcash said.

The suite of acquisitions will be funded by a $300 million placement to shareholders, plus $278 million of cash reserves and debt facilities.

Metcash also provided a trading update, and said its hardware business “continued to perform better than the market and remains ideally placed with leading market positions to capitalise on an improvement in consumer confidence and activity levels”.

Bianco was contacted for comment.

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