Cootes to be Sold

As part of the deal to save the McAleese group, the Cootes fuel and gas distribution business is to be sold. A complex deal will see a Hong Based group, SC Lowy, leading a consortium of investors , involved in the recapitalisation of the business.


Cootes fuel tanker pulling into a maintenance bay
Cootes fuel tanker pulling into a maintenance bay


Trading in McAleese shares has been suspended for a number of months pending any possible restructure being put in place. When it is in place, McAleese has been asked to de-list from the ASX, but will have to reconsider relisting after two years. The shares in the company which once stood at $1.47 were trading at 2.4 cents on Wednesday, after the initial announcement of the plan.


The SC Lowy group will be entitled to a 35 per cent share of the resurrected business. CEO Mark Rowsthorn will retain his share of the business having underwritten $26 million of new loans to help kick start the company again.


Toll Senior Mgt Meeting 2004
Mark Rowsthorn, McAleese CEO


According to reports, McAleese are expecting to get around $5 million for the sale of the Cootes business. There is no speculation about a possible owner at this stage. The picture is, as yet, unclear as the implications of this complicated deal are worked through by the parties involved.


Industry observers are predicting a number of possible outcomes, dependent upon the performance of the ailing heavy haulage specialist in the coming year to eighteen months.


“The announcement of the Recapitalisation represents an important milestone for McAleese, establishing a stable platform from which to service our customers and invest in the business,” said Don Telford, McAleese’s Chairman.


“Today’s announcement is the result of an extensive process, conducted over several months with the forbearance of our bank group. While the outcome is a disappointing one for existing providers of both debt and equity, we are pleased that shareholders will have the opportunity to consider, and participate in, the Recapitalisation.”