MINTER ELLISON has advised Brisbane-based Campbell Brothers Ltd on its acquisition of leading Australian coal services company, ACIRL Pty Ltd, for $76.8 million.
Lead partner on the Minter Ellison side, Gary Goldman, who works in the firm’s Brisbane office, said that while the firm has worked on a number of Campbell Brothers’ major transactions in Australia and overseas, this was a particularly important one for the client.
“This deal was a particularly important one for Campbells, as it was targeting assets designed to establish its presence in the coal industry and to allow for further growth and expansion of its laboratories,” he said.
Goldman said the lawyers’ role included assisting the acquisition to progress efficiently and to effectively overcome any points of possible tension.
ACIRL provides analytical and coal technology services to the black coal industry. The acquisition was made by Campbell Brothers’ laboratory services division, ALS Laboratory Group, which provides analytical laboratory services in the environmental, minerals and oil markets.
Clayton Utz acted for the vendor, shareholder in ACIRL, with lead partner Ron Smooker working on the deal.
Minter Ellison’s lawyers said the transaction was interesting because Campbell Brothers Ltd had previously made an unsuccessful takeover bid for ACIRL when it was bought by the current seller.
As well, the firm said, strong demand for coal consumption is driving demand for coal testing and analysis services. ACIRL held 46 per cent of the coal testing and analysis market, it said.
ACIRL operates eight major laboratories and five onsite laboratories around coal basins and ports in NSW and Queensland, and employs approximately 400 people.