Mining services provider Metarock Group has signed a binding agreement to divest its Australia-based PYBAR underground metals business to Thiess for a consideration of A$65m ($42.65m) on an enterprise value basis.

All PYBAR employees, including the senior management team headed by CEO James Glover, will join Thiess as part of the deal.

Upon completion of the deal, which is expected on 30 April 2024, Thiess also plans to retain the PYBAR brand.

The transaction is expected to yield net cash proceeds of around A$36.3m for Metarock after accounting for PYBAR’s outstanding debt and estimated transaction costs. The final net proceeds will be subject to customary adjustments.

The PYBAR sale forms part of Metarock’s strategic plan to capitalise on a $2.2bn pipeline of growth opportunities.

Metarock plans to use the proceeds from the sale to significantly bolster its balance sheet, allowing it to focus on growth opportunities across its remaining business units – Mastermyne, Wilson Mining and MyneSight.

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M Resources Group, Metarock’s major shareholder, has expressed full support for the transaction.

The deal is contingent upon certain conditions including third-party consents and the absence of any workplace fatalities before completion.

Metarock Group executive chair Jon Romcke said: “The purchase consideration represents compelling value for the PYBAR business, which will continue to grow as part of Thiess’ global mining services platform.

“The transaction removes the remaining constraints over the company’s ability to pursue the significant growth opportunities in the pipeline and represents a further key milestone in the successful turnaround of the Metarock Group.”

Financial advisory services for Metarock are provided by Grant Samuel, with Corrs Chambers Westgarth serving as legal advisor. Thiess has engaged Squire Patton Boggs as legal advisor.

Additionally, Metarock will sign a transition services agreement with Thiess to ensure a smooth transition of services post-sale. This agreement will initially last six months, with the potential for further extension if required.

In 2023, Thiess received a nickel mining contract from PT Halmahera Sukses Mineral in Central Halmahera, Indonesia.