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Media Release
16 December, 2020

MHM Automation acquires Southern Cross Engineering

Two of New Zealand’s leading engineering companies are set to become one, with NZX-listed MHM Automation (MHM) purchasing fellow Christchurch-based business Southern Cross Engineering (SCE).

Two of New Zealand’s leading engineering companies are set to become one, with NZX-listed MHM Automation (MHM) purchasing fellow Christchurch-based business Southern Cross Engineering (SCE).

Like MHM, SCE has a long history of designing and supplying high-quality technology-led solutions. Established in 1954, SCE is a diversified engineering firm that designs, manufactures and distributes a range of equipment into the meat, dairy, timber and infrastructure sectors.

MHM Automation itself designs and supplies automated systems and equipment for the global food processing and logistics sectors. It is headquartered in Christchurch, with offices in Hastings, Auckland, Brisbane and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Its key operating brands include Milmeq, H&C Automated Solutions and Mercer Stainless.

The acquisition is conditional, with the conditions expected to be satisfied on or before 18 December. If confirmed, the acquisition is due to settle on 11 January 2021. The purchase price will be calculated through an earn out over the next two years. The acquisition does not include SCE’s Rocktec business or its Australian based service business.

MHM Automation chief executive Richard Rookes said the acquisition would provide scale and diversification for MHM’s manufacturing base and cross selling opportunities in new primary and infrastructure sectors.

“We’re excited to bring the SCE brand and IP into the MHM Automation group.

“SCE has a long track record of the design and supply of innovative engineered solutions to the New Zealand and Australian primary and infrastructure sectors.”

The SCE business will continue to operate out of its existing premises. MHM is offering employment to key SCE staff, being a mix of design, engineering, controls, electrical and workshop-based staff, Rookes said.

“It was important to us that we retain the key SCE staff as they’re the heart of the business. We are bringing across a cross section of sales, engineering, design, controls and workshop staff to ensure that the key knowledge and relationships are retained.

“MHM Automation looks forward to working with the SCE customers to continue to provide leading solutions and services to them.”

Areas of focus related to SCE for MHM Automation going forward include industry-leading grain stackers, pressure vessels and related boiler solutions, key agencies for the timber industry, specialised solutions for Antarctica and an established service and spare parts business.

“Both SCE and MHM Automation value our customer relationships and across all of our businesses we have built a reputation for innovation and delivery of high-quality products and solutions – this will not change,” Rookes said.

“We expect to be able to invest more in our operations across the Group to ensure we remain innovative and competitive, which will ultimately benefit our customers.”

MHM Automation’s stated strategy remains to grow the technology and automation end of its business.

ENDS

For more information, please contact MHM Automation chief executive Richard Rookes on 021 414 016 or email r.rookes@mhmautomation.