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Aus logistics giant buys mining, heavy-lift and renewables transport specialist LCR

Australian integrated logistics provider Qube (ASX:QUB) has acquired Brisbane-based crane-hire provider, mining-related logistics services provider and truck-operator LCR Group for A$135 million (US$94.14 million).

Qube, which has a market capitalization of about A$4.63 billion (US$3.23 billion), bought LCR in a debt-financed deal. Funds from Qube’s existing undrawn debt facilities were used to fund the deal.

Logistics specialist LCR

Founded in 2004, LCR provides a wide range of logistics services in both Australia and Papua New Guinea in the mining, renewable energy and industrial sectors.

LCR provides end-to-end logistics for the renewable energy sector. Service provided include trucking, contract negotiations, provision of cranage and heavy haulage, project management and maintenance. For instance, LCR trucked and delivered wind turbine blades, 62.7 meters long and weighing 22 metric tons (a metric ton is equivalent to 2,204.6 U.S. pounds), from the port at Brisbane to Coopers Gap Wind Farm. The site is located about 111.64 miles inland of the port in a north-westerly direction and is also in a mountainous region.

The company also provides a variety of services to the mining sector including civil works, stockpile management and others. LCR offers a variety of cranes (ranging from 20 tons to 500 tons) and trucks to the construction, engineering, oil, gas, mining and renewables sectors for the lifting of heavy and oversize loads. Similar services are also offered for operations in Papua New Guinea.

Expanding the business

In a joint statement obtained by FreightWaves, the two companies said: “this is an excellent opportunity to combine two strong businesses under the Qube umbrella. The strength and breadth of the Qube business will enhance LCR’s service offerings, business growth and development over the years to come.”

The statement added that there are “no immediate changes forecast for the [LCR] business” and that the initial focus will be to ensure that service continues. LCR’s existing management team, including CEO and managing director, Col Partington, and chief financial officer, Michael Devadason, will remain in their current roles and will continue to manage day-to-day operations.

Qube financials

Qube also stated that the purchase of LCR is not expected to have a material impact on Qube’s net profit after tax.

Qube is well known in the Australian logistics industry. It is an operator of marine container shipping terminals, dry bulk ports, dry bulk logistics, road and rail transport services, warehousing, container parks and intermodal hubs.

Qube announced statutory revenues of A$837 million (US$583.81 million) in the half year to December 2018, which was up by five percent on the prior corresponding period. Earnings before interest, taxation and amortization stood at A$93.6 million, 20.2 percent up on the second half of 2017, and net profit after tax was A$61.5 million up 36.1 percent.

Qube is quite heavily exposed, both directly and indirectly to the ocean container shipping market. Qube’s marine box terminal operator, Patrick, generated revenues of A$313.7million in the second half of 2018. That represents 37.48 percent of Qube’s revenues for that half year.  

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Jim Wilson, Australia Correspondent

Sydney-based journalist and photojournalist, Jim Wilson, is the Australia Correspondent for FreightWaves. Since beginning his journalism career in 2000, Jim has primarily worked as a business reporter, editor, and manager for maritime publications in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. He has won several awards for logistics-related journalism and has had photography published in the global maritime press. Jim has also run publications focused on human resources management, workplace health and safety, venture capital, and law. He holds a degree in law and legal practice.

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