Briefcase: Business Snippets from around South Australia

In this week’s briefcase, Elders buys a Victorian livestock and real estate company while Codan invests in US company and the SIKL Laser takeover is completed by Wesfarmers.

Dec 04, 2023, updated Dec 04, 2023
Tech company Codan specialises in tactical communications and metal detectors.

Tech company Codan specialises in tactical communications and metal detectors.

G’day Group unveils $20m Tassie tourism investment

South Australian accommodation provider G’day Group has revealed the $20 million redevelopment of its Cradle Mountain Discovery Parks property, which it hopes will generate more than $18 million in economic benefit per year for the region.

The redevelopment includes 30 new cabins, 40 new tourist sites, upgraded amenities, and – in a first for G’day – premium cabins featuring open fireplaces and panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows.

G’day group chief strategy officer Ben Simons said the investment would be a much-needed boost for Cradle Mountain tourism.

“From incredible views to some of Australia’s most regarded walking trails, Cradle Mountain is one of the most remarkable regional destinations in the country,” Simons said.

“However, as Tasmania looks to grow visitor numbers to more than 2 million annually by 2030, there is a need for continued investment in high quality tourism product to ensure that we can not only support visitation growth but deliver an experience that is truly unforgettable.

“This redevelopment allows us to tap into the broad demographic of visitors the Mountain attracts – from hikers looking for a spot to pitch a tent for the night, right through to those seeking a luxury escape, immersed in nature.”

– David Simmons

Axiom snaps up two plots of land at Mount Gambier

Listed property developer Axiom Properties has acquired two land parcels in Mount Gambier for approximately $9.2 million to develop a large-format retail centre.

It comes after the company recently acquired a retail centre in Butler, Western Australia, and is part of the firm’s push to become a prominent shopping centre operator.

The land is comprised of two sites that sit adjacent to the Mount Gambier Marketplace – anchored by Woolworths, Big W, Bunnings Warehouse and more than 35 specialty retailers.

“Given the current uncertainty in the various factors affecting the property sector generally, the company is confident it has the time, terms and experience to navigate through the current headwinds and see this project through to a successful outcome for all stakeholders and parties,” Axiom managing director Ben Laurence said.

“We are buoyed by the level of interest already shown in the project by Axiom’s retail partners.”

The acquisition will be funded using a combination of balance sheet capital and debt.

David Simmons

QuantX secures funding for quantum research

Adelaide tech firm QuantX has landed $750,000 in funding for a research project to take Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to the quantum level.

The funds from the department of defence will support its secured position, navigation and timing (PNT) capability for defence applications.

The company said access to trusted PNT capabilities was “of paramount importance” for defence operations and that current signals – such as those provided by the GPS – were “vulnerable to covert spoofing”.

QuantX said its ‘Quantum-Secured Time Transfer for Resilient PNT’ project will address this issue by harnessing quantum tech to guarantee the authenticity of received data, “making spoofing impossible”.

“Quantum-secured time transfer offers a new level of security and accuracy for defence operations,” QuantX general manager Dr Martin O’Connor said.

“We are excited to embark on this research journey, which has the potential to safeguard our troops and assets in contested environments.”

– David Simmons

Michael Stewart (Managing Director – Charles Stewart), Brendan Rinaldi (Elders State General Manager – Victoria/Riverina). Photo: Elders.

Elders acquires Victorian agribusiness

Adelaide-based Elders has announced the acquisition of the Charles Stewart Group, a livestock and real estate agency business based in south-west Victoria.

The fifth-generation family operation, founded in 1917, employs more than 60 people which will remain under the existing brand to serve its customer base throughout Victoria.

Elders CEO Mark Allison said the business had a strong history of service to the agricultural communities of south-west Victoria.

“This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen Elders’ presence in Victoria with a well-respected business,” Allison said.

“Not only does it fill a key strategic gap for Elders in Victoria, it also allows for further growth opportunities in the future.”

David Simmons

Codan acquires US broadcast business

North American systems integrator of wireless broadcast equipment for sports, cinema and other applications Wave Central has been acquired by Adelaide-based tech firm Codan for $9.1 million.

If certain earn-out targets are met over the next three years, Codan may pay an additional $12.2 million for the US company acquired via its wholly-owned subsidiary Domo Broadcast Holdings.

Wave Central has a portfolio of wireless video camera links and high-quality broadcast products and has been Domo Broadcast’s primary distribution channel into the North American market for 15 years.

Codan said its acquisition was consistent with a growth strategy to acquire complementary businesses and leverage its radio and wireless technology to scale.

“The combined strengths of Domo Broadcast and Wave Central will increase opportunities in news coverage for live events, college and professional sports, film production and unmanned applications in the growing global remote broadcast market,” Codan said.

Wave Central’s founders and senior management have all joined Codan’s tactical communications broadcast division but will remain in the acquired business.

David Simmons

Land acquisition to accelerate Renascor plans

Miner Renascor has acquired the freehold land that hosts its Siviour Graphite Deposit in South Australia.

Acquired from the Siviour family, the land underlies the upstream portion of Renascor’s vertically integrated battery anode material (BAM) manufacturing operation in SA.

Managing director David Christensen said the deal was a “positive outcome”.

“The land acquisition agreement, announced today continues our successful collaboration with the Siviour family, the long-standing owners of the freehold land hosting the world-class Siviour Graphite Deposit, and provides a positive outcome for both the Siviours and Renascor,” Christensen said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the residents of the district as we look to provide significant new opportunities for the wider Eyre Peninsula community as we develop the world-class Siviour Graphite Project.”

The company said it would now accelerate the development of its BAM project, with a focus on commencing the upstream operation to permit its new supply to enter the market.

David Simmons

Bradford Homes takes out national award

Bradford Homes by Scott Salisbury has been awarded the National Display Home Award for its ‘Dakota’ design.

Encapsulating attainable luxury and quality craftsmanship, the ‘Dakota’ design embodies the business’ values according to Bradford Homes.

The two-storey design – available for viewing at St Yves, Roseworthy – was highlighted by Master Builders as an open-plan, contemporary design.

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The building includes double glazing with sliding doors and tiling with attention to smaller details.

“The use of exterior cladding created a striking architectural feature that seamlessly transitioned into the interior of the home, enhancing its overall visual appeal,” Master Builders said.

“Bradford Homes displayed a strong focus on safety systems and performance and are well deserving of this Award.”

David Simmons

SILK Laser takeover signed, sealed and delivered

The final steps in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries’ takeover of Adelaide’s SILK Laser Clinics have been completed, giving the Wesfarmers subsidiary full control of the cosmetics business.

API acquired SILK for $180 million, with the deal approved by the Federal Court earlier this month.

The new owner intends to continue growing the national footprint of the South Australian company founded in 2009 by managing director and CEO Martin Perelman.

SILK will now become part of the Wesfarmers Health division, completing the company’s Clear Skincare business.

“Through this acquisition, we are looking to build a leading medical aesthetics operator in Australia and New Zealand,” Wesfarmers Health managing director Emily Amos said.

“We see strong operational and cultural alignment between our businesses and look forward to working with the SILK team and SILK’s joint venture and franchise partners to support their customers and deliver continued growth.”

SILK has now been removed from the official list of the Australian Stock Exchange.

David Simmons

L-R: Emily Perry – General Manager Community and Corporate Affairs RAA Group, Phillip Hope – Director Corporate Strategy and Services – Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Zoe Bettison, Antoinette Tatarelli – Managing Partner of PKF Adelaide, Mayor Michael Coxon – City of West Torrens, Hon. Karlene Maywald – board chair – Cancer Council SA. Photo: Provided.

South Australian organisations to participate in Multicultural Ambassador program

Five SA-based organisations will collaborate with the state government via the Multicultural South Australian Ambassador Program.

Cancer Council of SA, City of West Torrens, PKF Adelaide, RAA Group and Mitsubishi Motors Australia (based in Adelaide) have signed up to be a part of the Program which progresses the Multicultural Charter – launched on 9 March 2023 – from a document to “a way of doing business” according to the state government.

The Ambassador Program will see the organisations embed the Charter’s principles within the workforce and business practices.

“The Multicultural Charter has been widely accepted in South Australia, but now we are taking the next step,” multicultural affairs minister Zoe Bettison said.

“While organisations in South Australia are often striving to attract staff, just as importantly, they are also trying to retain staff. The culture within the organisation plays a significant role in both of these things.

“The Ambassador Program pilot will demonstrate how South Australian organisations can best integrate the Multicultural Charter’s principles in their service delivery, workforce and business practices.”

David Simmons

AML3D partners with BAE Systems

Adelaide additive manufacturing company AML3D has partnered with BAE Systems Maritime Australia (BAESMA) on a manufacturing contract for the provision of a test part.

The part is expected to be used on the Hunter class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy, with testing to be carried out at AML3D’s Adelaide headquarters.

The company said the value of the initial test was “not material”, but “AML3D sees this as a significant milestone in the commercialisation of WAM as a manufacturing solution”.

“We had great confidence that our WAM technology would satisfy BAESMA’s testing and move into component manufacturing,” AML3D CEO Sean Ebert said.

“AML3D has a focus on the significant demand we are seeing in the US, where we are enjoying a lot of success in winning a steady stream of contracts, but we also have a stated aim to develop our commercial relationships across marine and defence sectors.

“Expanding our relationship with BAESMA in Australia, as part of its work for the Royal Australian Navy, is a great example of delivering on this aspect of our growth plan and diversifying our revenue base.”

David Simmons

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