Billabong Founder Purchases Bio-Plastics Manufacturer

Gordon Merchant. Photo: Forbes

Gordon Merchant. Photo: Forbes

Billabong Founder Gordon Merchant is in the process of purchasing a Melbourne bio-plastics manufacturer, Plantic Technologies, for approximately AUD $10.2 million.

According to Australia’s Smart Company:

Merchant, who was valued at $874 million on the BRW Rich 200, has been a long-time investor in Plantic, which was established in 2001 and is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

Merchant, who currently owns just under 19% of the company, announced his intention to take the company private via a scheme of arrangements.

Shareholders and option holders will meet in Melbourne on November 17 to approve the deal, which recommended unanimously by the company’s board.The company’s German manufacturing plant became operational in February 2009 and the company now has five product lines on sale around the world, with sales offices in Australia, the US and Britain.

In the six months to June 30, the company had sales of $927,000 but posted a loss of $15.5 million, dragged down by fixed asset impairment charges of more than $9 million. The company has $9.4 million in cash on its balance sheet.

Merchant’s motivations for the takeover have not been revealed by the company, but there is little doubt that the continued slide in Plantic’s share price means it is now attractively priced.