PPK overhauls Rambor, Firefly

PPK Group will close Rambor’s Nowra base in New South Wales, triggering redundancies, as part of plans to merge this roofbolting business with its recently acquired Firefly International.

Blair Price

“The existing Rambor centre in Nowra will close at some stage in 2015,” PPK said.

“A number of Nowra based positions will become redundant. Detailed plans will be communicated to impacted employees when fully determined.”

As part of the changes Firefly’s Mt Thorley premises will be also be used for the manufacture, assemble and maintenance of Rambor equipment.

“The sales, service, hire/rental, parts and inventory centre for the Hunter Valley will be located at Mt Thorley and for the Illawarra region will be located at PPK’s new Port Kembla facility,” PPK said.

Both the Rambor and Firefly brands will be retained but PPK is anticipating there will be opportunities to “rationalise” their product ranges in response to market demand.

“Acquiring Firefly and combining it with Rambor continues PPK’s commitment to offering quality fit-for-purpose products and services to the underground high-gas coal mining industry,” PPK executive chairman Robin Levison said.

“Combining these two excellent businesses offers us the best opportunity to invest in and grow both Rambor and Firefly in what is currently a most challenging market.”

PPK, which acquired the COALTRAM mining equipment business in March, bought Firefly for $1.86 million with the acquisition completed this week.

“Firefly sells, services and supports a range of drilling, boring, bolting and other equipment to the underground coal mining industry,” PPK said.

“The company also markets a wide range of mining consumables along with offering a full range of hire equipment.”

Former Industrea chief Levison became PPK’s executive chairman in October 2013 and has a 19.9% stake in the company.

At that time, Levison said the current stage of the commodities market cycle provided an opportunistic window to acquire profitable privately owned Australia-based mining services businesses with proven growth prospects.

Rambor, once a small family-owned business, employs about 30 people, according to its website.