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Deals: Campbell Brothers Back On The Takeover Trail

March 20th 2012 - Australasian Investment Review – (AIR)

Brisbane-based mining and environmental testing group Campbell Brothers is back on the takeover trial in a new area of business.The company is expanding its small food testing operations with a $39 million acquisition in the UK and Ireland.

The company is already a major global player in testing services for the mining industry, while it is expanding into environmental sectors, such as water testing in the US.

The company has bought Eclipse Scientific Group and Advanced Micro Services businesses from Environmental Scientifics Group.

Eclipse provides testing for manufacturers, food processors and retailers in the UK, while AMS provides similar services in Ireland.

The purchase of the two food testing businesses would accelerate its development of a global food and pharmaceutical testing business, managing director Greg Kilmister said in a statement.

The businesses will be included in Campbell Brothers’ newly-created life sciences division, which is being formed in the company’s main business, ALS, which conducts all the testing activities.

The acquisition will be financed from the company’s internal resources of cash and debt.

Eclipse has 300 staff and will boost Campbell’s staff in Europe to around 1,000.

ALS has around 11,000 people across the world, including Australia.

Campbell Brothers has forecast profit growth of up to 66% to $220 million in the current year. The company rules off the books for the first half of the year at the end of this month.

The shares were up $1.23c or 2%, at $63.01 by the close yesterday.

And the struggling Ten Network confirmed yesterday that it is considering selling its outdoor advertising business EYE Corp.EYE provides “out-of-home” advertising at airports, shopping centres, universities and alongside roads.

It operates in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia.

“In light of recent corporate activities within the Australian out-of-home industry, Ten Holdings is currently undertaking a strategic review and considering strategic options for EYE,” Ten said in a statement to the ASX.

“There is no certainty that the strategic review will result in a transaction or that any transaction will be completed.”

EYE generated earnings of $18.4 million in the 12 months to August 31, 2011, a rise of 22.7% from the previous 12 months.

Ten could use the funds generated from any sale to cut debt or finance new programming.

Ten shares added 2c yesterday to 82c.

This Information is provided to you by the Australasian Investment Review (AIR). Subscriptions are free.AIR reports about financial markets and investment products in the widest sense possible. The AIR website and all its contents is prepared for general information only, and as such, the specific needs, investment objectives or financial situation of any particular user have not been taken into consideration. Individuals should therefore talk with their financial planner or advisor before making any investment decision.

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