250_3-Laurie-BarlowLaurie Barlow, CEO of AusGroup. NextInsight file photoIN A BID to collect AU$54.7 million owing to it, AusGroup's wholly-owned subsidiary, AGC Industries, yesterday issued a writ of summons against Karara Mining Limited (KML) in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. 

KML is alleged to have failed to make progress payments amounting in aggregate to AU$43.5 million.

It allegedly failed also to recognise" additional corporate overhead and profit" of AU$11.2 million (COP Payment) which was a performance incentive to achieve certain milestone dates for structural, mechanical and piping installation works carried out by AGC, at KML’s Karara Iron Ore Project in Western Australia.

AGC’s firmly views its claims are valid, "particularly given that subsequent to our announcement on 3 May 2013, AGC wrote to KML once again on 7 May 2013, requesting that ... KML provide a written, substantiated and competent claim given that the threat of a claim by KML had been used as a reason for withholding payment since March 2013."

Despite that request, and previous demands by AGC, KML has failed to comply.

In the circumstances, AGC had no option but to commence legal proceedings.
 
In addition to the writ, AGC has applied for, and was granted, an interim injunction to restrain KML from converting to cash a performance security bank guarantee of $AU8.8 million until further orders of the Court.

AGC has obtained an additional short term working capital facility of $AU9.2 million from its financiers.
 
AusGroup Managing Director and CEO, Laurie Barlow, said: “AGC has not taken this action lightly. In the interests of our shareholders and other stakeholders, we believe this is a necessary step. AGC is confident that it has fulfilled its obligations under the Contract and firmly believes it is fully entitled to the Progress Payments and COP Payment from KML for the services provided and which can be supported when the matter proceeds to a hearing and formal decision.”

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Hart_leedenHart Group is one of Singapore’s industry leaders in fire protection equipment and systems. Photo: CompanyLEEDEN LIMITED, an integration specialist for welding, gas & safety solutions, has acquired a 70% stake in HT Universal (“Hart Group”), a Singapore-based specialist supplier, manufacturer and contractor in the field of fire protection equipment and system, for S$8.3 million.
 
Through the Eversafe Group of Companies, Leeden currently enjoys a leading position in the fire safety industry in Malaysia.

The acquisition of Hart Group will serve to extend this leading position into Singapore and contribute towards building its presence in the Southeast Asian region, as Hart Group is widely recognised as one of Singapore’s industry leaders in fire protection equipments and systems.

Hart Group reported revenue of S$16.2 million in FY2012, and has recorded stable profit in excess of S$2.0 million over the past five years.
 
The acquisition will also expand and complement Leeden’s range of fire protection related products and systems, such as providing support and installation services utilising Hart’s technical expertise.

350steventhamSteven Tham, CEO of Leeden Limited.
Photo: annual report
In addition, the acquisition will allow Leeden to benefit from synergistic benefits, as the Group will be able to cross sell an enlarged range of products and services, leveraging on an expanded customer and supplier base across two markets.  

The investment is well-aligned with Leeden’s mission to achieve market leadership in Asia’s marine, oil and gas industries and ensure high customer value by providing integrated services and solutions for welding, gas and safety.

The Hart Group will become a part of Leeden’s Safety Division and work closely with Leeden’s Eversafe Group of Companies.
 
“Apart from the expanded product range and geographical presence, we are excited about the opportunity to increase our market share as well as strengthening our technical expertise in firefighting systems installing and servicing. Leeden and Hart Group’s business profiles and demographics are a highly strategic fit and we strongly believe that this investment and its potential synergies will elevate our market standing to new heights,” said Steven Tham, CEO of Leeden Limited.

 

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