Hexagon expands drill and blast tech with Minnovare deal

Swedish tech co adds to 2020 BMT acquisition

Another Australian mining technology company has been snapped up by a large international firm with Hexagon AB’s acquisition of 10-year-old Perth-based Minnovare. No price was posted and Hexagon said its latest bolt-on “has no significant impact on [its] earnings”.

The deal on offer was nevertheless understood to be too good to refuse for the small company’s owners.

Minnovare co-founders Callum McCracken and Michael Beilby brought in Australian private equity firms, Viburnum and RCF Jolimont in 2016 to help speed the start-up’s growth. It established offices in Canada and the US in 2017 and the following year launched its popular Production Optimiser product.

Viburnum described Minnovare as a mining technology business that offered “productivity enhancing advanced drilling alignment and data capture hardware and software solutions to the underground mining and civil construction sectors”.

It is said to have “more than 150 contracted systems in over 90 mining operations worldwide, sold as a recurring revenue package”.

Hexagon, which has bought half a dozen prominent mining tech firms in the past decade, says it will add Minnovare to its “mining division”. The Swedish-listed company has a mining arm but doesn’t publicly report on its progress to shareholders. Mining and oil and gas market sales make up “natural resources” activity that accounted for 14% of last year’s €3.8 billion group revenues.

Hexagon purchased Australia’s Blast Movement Technologies from RCF Jolimont in January 2020.

“The integration of Minnovare’s innovative mining solutions with our strong, core technical competence is a strategic fit,” Hexagon CEO Ola Rollen said in a company statement on the new acquisition. “It will prove invaluable for customers striving to improve the speed, cost and accuracy of underground drilling.”

Rollen said the addition “strengthens our formidable drill and blast portfolio and accelerates our underground development roadmap”.

“We also see opportunities for international expansion of Minnovare’s portfolio throughout Hexagon’s global footprint.”

A Hexagon spokesperson recently told InvestMETS.com Australia was “the biggest contributor to Hexagon’s mining division business in APAC, but we are growing very rapidly in the northern APAC (CIS) and central APAC (South-East Asia) regions”.

“Northern and central APAC are rapidly accelerating their use of technology in mining to improve safety, sustainability, and productivity.

“As a more mature market, the organic growth of the Australian business is expected to grow at a slower rate. However, Hexagon remains well situated to make strategic acquisitions and partnerships, and we are looking forward to continuing to innovate and move into whitespace that is poorly serviced or unaddressed,” the spokesperson said.

 

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