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Metcash’s in on Alpine Frame & Truss

George Prothero will remain as managing director of Alpine Frame & Truss

Metcash’s move to buy three businesses for a combined $560 million is a long-term play aimed at bolstering the ASX-listed company’s operations across food distribution and hardware, chief executive Doug Jones said. Sources: Brisbane Times, Timberbiz

The operator of retailers including IGA, Mitre 10 and Cellarbrations suspended trading in its shares on Monday to announce the acquisition of foodservice distribution business Superior Food Group, Bianco Construction Supplies and framing and truss operator Alpine Truss.

The purchases will be funded through a $300 million capital raising and up to $278 million from existing cash and debt.

The $82.2 million acquisition of Bianco Construction Supplies and the $64 million purchase of Alpine Truss will bolster Metcash’s hardware portfolio, which consists of Mitre 10, Home Timber & Hardware, and Total Tools. Making up 42% of total earnings, its hardware portfolio has become a growth and profit driver for Metcash.

Bianco and Alpine “align completely” and are “highly complementary” to Metcash’s broader hardware strategy, the company stated in a presentation deck to investors, pointing to broader customer offerings, higher market share and greater network expansion.

Acquisition rationale Supports IHG’s ‘Whole of House’ growth strategy Expanding Frame & Truss (F&T) operations into Victoria and in South Australia/Northern Territory adding a large trade operation with a strong focus on foundation stage of a house Accelerates IHG’s network expansion Increases market share in the attractive trade hardware category, through the addition of one Alpine Truss location and 10 Bianco locations.

Alpine Frame & Truss is one of Australia’s largest Frame & Truss operations, operating since 2002 and located in Wangaratta, Victoria. It is a well-equipped, well-run operation with a long history of capital investment and services small to large volume builders across Victoria and Southern New South Wales. George Prothero will remain as managing director of Alpine Frame & Truss.

Bunnings, which is owned by Wesfarmers, has more than 50% of the total market share of the Australian hardware and DIY market and has been active in gaining a better foothold in the frame and truss market.