Tuesday 17 October 2017

Mincon targets growth as value hits €197m on first day of trading

Workers prepare to release a colleague from a capsule after performing a dry run test for the eventual rescue of the 33 miners trapped at the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile.
Workers prepare to release a colleague from a capsule after performing a dry run test for the eventual rescue of the 33 miners trapped at the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile.
Pictured is Mincon Founder Patrick Purcell as he rings the ISE bell watched by Aileen O'Donoghue, Director of Strategy, ISE and Kevin Barry, CEO Mincon. Picture by Shane O'Neill / Fennells.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

MINCON, the Clare-based mining-equipment group whose drilling product played a crucial role in the rescue of Chilean miners three years ago, was valued at €197m during its first day of trading yesterday.

The family backed, Irish-founded business has raised €50m, with the funds earmarked for acquisitions to grow the group. Mincon made its stockmarket debut with a €180m market capitalisation, but the shares traded higher than the issue price during the session.

Mincon was founded in 1977 by Patrick and Mary Purcell, whose family owned almost 80pc of the company prior the flotation. Following the stockmarket listing, they retain a 57.7pc stake through their Kingsbell Company investment vehicle, still enabling them to call the shots at the business.

Chief executive Kevin Barry's family owned just under 20pc of Mincon through a company called Ballybell prior to the sale. Following the stockmarket entry, they own 14.4pc.

VALUED

Based on the new stock price the Purcells' stake is valued at €113.6m. Mr Barry's family's stake is worth €28.3m.

A supplier of specialised drilling equipment, Mincon's products have been used in some of the most remote regions of the world by firms engaged in mining, oil and gas exploration, as well as construction.

Mr Purcell (77) established Mincon 35 years ago. Prior to that he worked as a fitter for the Air Corps and after a stint abroad returned to Ireland during the sixties and started working for De Beers, which had an industrial diamond factory in Shannon, which produced drill bits for industry. It is now known as Element Six.

Mincon's non-executive chairman is former stockbroker and one-time Eircom chief financial officer Peter Lynch. He's also the head of investment firm Prime Active. Former ESB boss Padraig McManus is also a non-executive director of Mincon.

Following the stock market float, the major change to the Mincon shareholder register is newcomer Setanta Asset Management.

It has taken a 5.8pc stake in the Clare company as part of the flotation process, which saw shares begin trading yesterday on Dublin's Enterprise Securities Market and London's Alternative Investment Market.

By mid-afternoon in London, Mincon shares changing hands at 81.62p each and were trading at 96 cents in Dublin, having been issued at 87 cent.

Dublin-based Setanta Asset Management is part of Canada Life Irish, which is now owned by Great-West Lifeco. Setanta has about €6.2bn of funds under management.

In 2010 the eyes of the world were on the Atacama Desert in Chile where 33 miners became trapped for two months 700 metres underground.

The first contact made with the men before they were eventually lifted to safety came after a 26-inch wide hole was drilled using a drill bit made by Mincon.

Irish Independent

Also in Business