Eldridge, Brightstar Capital Partners and Claure Group have signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Ausenco, a global integrated engineering and consulting services provider to the minerals and metals industries, and energy transition market, from Resource Capital Fund VI L.P. and other co-investors.
The company’s co-founder, Zimi Meka, will remain CEO, board member and investor in Ausenco.
Founded in 1991, Ausenco’s 3,000 employees are focused on the world’s most challenging engineering and consulting projects, drawing on deep technical expertise with a commitment to sustainably delivering end-to-end solutions for its clients and their communities. The team of scientists, engineers and professionals design and build efficient mine and metal extraction facilities; deliver sustainable mine waste and water management, and mine closure and remediation solutions; and engage with local and Indigenous communities to create lasting benefit, the company says.
Meka said: “We’ve always been about challenging what’s possible and delivering services sustainably and with integrity. From permitting to closure, our people are finding better ways to plan projects, efficiently use resources, protect the environment, and deliver value to clients and communities. In Eldridge, Brightstar and Claure Group we have partners that understand this ambition and our culture.”
Ausenco has been an integral part of the RCF VI portfolio since the original investment in December 2014, and subsequent privatisation from the ASX in 2016 in a deal that valued Ausenco at A$150 million ($97 million), RCF said.
“During RCF VI’s ownership, Ausenco has constructed four major copper concentrators: Carrapateena (pictured, photo courtesy of OZ Minerals), one of the largest copper reserves in Australia, Constancia and Mina Justa in Peru and Mantoverde in Chile, for a combined annual copper capacity of more than 400,000 t,” RCF added. In addition to copper, Ausenco has grown capabilities in sustainability, lithium and operational performance.
Todd Boehly, Tony Minella and Duncan Bagshaw, co-founders of Eldridge, said: “We invest in what people need and what people want – both qualities expressed in Ausenco’s activity the past three decades. Ausenco has worked around the world to deliver minerals critical to nearly every aspect of our lives and to the ongoing energy transition. We are excited to partner with a world-class management team to further enhance and diversify their service offerings.”
Andrew Weinberg, Founder and CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners, said: “Ausenco plays a vital role in facilitating the global transition to electrification and electric vehicles. Brightstar is confident that Ausenco is strategically positioned for future growth due to its impressive track record of performance, and the anticipated increased demand for metals and minerals that are essential to sustainable solutions.”
Marcelo Claure, Founder and CEO of Claure Group, who will join Ausenco’s Board of Directors and has focused investments in Latin America and the energy transition, added: “With the shift to more sustainable energy gaining momentum, Latin America will have a key role to play as the main producing region for essential minerals, such as copper and lithium. Given Ausenco’s strong presence and pipeline of projects in the region, we believe the company will be at the forefront of this transition, actively contributing to the electrification of the world.”