Australia’s Orica seals $640m deal to buy US chemical firm Cyanco

Credit: Cyanco Intermediate 4 Corp

Australia’s Orica said on Wednesday it would acquire US-based chemical company Cyanco Intermediate 4 Corp for $640 million to expand its geographical reach in mining chemicals business.

Orica will fund the buy mainly through an underwritten institutional placement worth A$400 million ($261.9 million), along with existing cash and debt facilities, the company said.

The placement’s issue price of A$15.84 per share represents a 6% discount to the stock’s last traded price of A$16.85 on Tuesday.

Shares of the company were halted prior to the announcement. Orica said it would resume trading on Thursday.

The company said it would also undertake a share purchase plan of A$65 million for financing the Cyanco deal, which will be priced lower than the institutional placement.

“At face value, Orica’s acquisition of Cyanco appears strategically sound, by extending the current sodium cyanide (NaCN) chemicals platform to a global scale by more than doubling capacity,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Owen Birrell said in a note.

“Overall we believe the transaction will be well received by the market, and the equity raising supported.”

Cyanco produces NaCN, a specialised chemical required for gold processing, at its Nevada and Texas plants in the US, and supplies it primarily to gold mining industries across parts of Americas and Africa.

“The acquisition will more than double Orica’s existing sodium cyanide production capacity and provide us with the ability to cater to the highly attractive US and Canadian gold mining industries,” Orica CEO Sanjeev Gandhi said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2024, and earnings-per-share-accretive in mid-single-digits in the first year and provide “strong EBITDA margins” benefits, Orica said.

($1 = 1.5274 Australian dollars)

(By Poonam Behura; Editing by Chris Reese, Stephen Coates and Subhranshu Sahu)


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