Suppliers news: Boart Longyear, Atlas Copco, Opsens

Boart Longyear recapitalizes with Centerbridge

Global drilling services, equipment and performance tooling supplier, Boart Longyear (US-OTC: BOARF), has completed a comprehensive recapitalization with private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

Boart says the recapitalization plan, which was supported by shareholders, strengthens its balance sheet, provides greater liquidity and gives the company more financial flexibility to support current operations and long-term growth.

“The successful recapitalization transactions enhance our ability to serve our global customer base and drive shareholder value,” Boart president and CEO Richard O’Brien said.

Boart’s strategic review in February 2014 led to the recapitalization transactions, which include:

 • US$225 million in new loan financing provided by Centerbridge. With these funds Boart refinanced its revolving credit facility, doing away with some strict covenants.

 • US$111 million in new equity capital, coming from two private placements to Centerbridge totalling US$27 million and an equal-access rights offering for US$84 million.

 • US$16-million debt equitization, wherein Centerbridge agreed to convert its US$16-million holding of Boart-issued debt into US$16 million of equity.

 • An equity-funded share repurchase plan that saw Boart sell Centerbridge 8 million fully paid ordinary shares acquired in an off-market share buyback launched in December.

Following the recapitalization transactions, Centerbridge now owns a 49.9% stake in Boart, with 465 million common shares, plus 434 million preferred shares.

Centerbridge nominee Conor S. Tochilin has joined Boart’s board, previously joining the New York-based PE firm as a principal in 2013. Centerbridge will review all further appointments to the board.

“This is an important step forward for our company, and we appreciate Centerbridge’s commitment of new equity capital and financing to help us achieve our strategic goals,” O’Brien added. “This agreement reflects Centerbridge’s confidence in our management team, business model and future growth prospects, and further demonstrates that the Boart Longyear franchise, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, is fundamentally strong and valuable.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Boart’s Drilling Services division operates in 30 countries. Its Global Products division designs and manufactures drilling equipment, performance tools and parts to customers in more than 100 countries.

At press time Boart’s shares traded for A17.5¢, within a 52-week range of A8.5¢ to A48¢. The company has 931 million shares outstanding for a A$163-million market capitalization.

Atlas Copco gets a little smaller

Stockholm-based industrial equipment giant Atlas Copco announced is has done away with two business units.

The company has sold its JC Carter business, which produces cryogenic submerged motor pumps, to a Las Vegas, Nev.-based subsidiary of Japan’s Nikkiso, for an undisclosed sum.

JC Carter is based in California and has 35 employees. It was part of Atlas Copco’s Gas and Process division, within the Compressor Technique business area that provides industrial compressors, vacuum solutions, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment, and air management systems.

“We have found a better home for this business,” president of Atlas Copco’s compressor technique department Nico Delvaux said. “We believe that it will have a good future under the new ownership.”

Atlas Copco announced it would discontinue its Powercrusher business, which makes and sells mobile crushers and screeners for quarrying, civil engineering and recycling.

The decision means that in 2015 the company will stop manufacturing at its plant in St. Valentin, Austria, but will help customers get aftermarket service support for the fleet into the future.

“We are discontinuing this business as it does not fit strategically for us,” president of Atlas Copco’s mining and rock excavation technique department Johan Halling said. “We will ensure existing Powercrusher customers will continue to have their equipment serviced in the best way.”

The Powercrusher business has 70 employees and earned €28 million in 2014.

Founded in 1873, Atlas Copco boasts more than 44,000 employees and reaches 180 countries. In 2014 the firm generated revenues of €10.3 billion.

Opsens touts large order from South American copper mine

Quebec City-based optical sensing technology supplier Opsens (TSXV: OPS; US-OTC: OPSSF) has announced receiving an order worth more than $1 million for a unnamed mine in South America.

The company said one of its South American distributors placed the order for a monitoring system that will optimize mining operations to prevent negative impacts on the environment at one of the world’s largest copper mines owned by major mining company.

“Our fibre optics technology can be adapted to measure various parameters in the most difficult conditions to deliver significant benefits in terms of optimizing production and reducing risks to the environment and health, compelling sales arguments for many industries, including mining,” vice-president of Opsens’ oil, gas and industrial division Gaétan Duplain said.

The order is significant for the firm because it does most of its business in other fields, supplying medical instrumentation for the fraction flow reserve (FFR) technique used in cardiology and equipment for downhole monitoring in the oil and gas sector.

“This order is a tangible demonstration of our company’s versatility. We intend to capitalize on our assets to create value for our shareholders in the industrial field while continuing to focus on the practice of FFR in the medical field,” company president and CEO Louis Laflamme said.

“This contract in the mining industry follows a stream of contracts fulfilled by Opsens on mining projects,” Laflamme added. “Our success in landing this order can be credited to our distributor’s geotechnical knowledge and know-how, and to Opsens’ expertise in fibre optics.”



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