Peter August talks to the Financial Times about Melbourne Mint's international growth prospects

Melbourne Mint seeks targets in China, entry into Europe and South America - Property Intelligence, by Silvia Garcia
Melbourne Mint, a retailer of precious metals, is seeking bolt-on acquisitions in China, as it aims to diversify outside Australia, said CEO Peter August. The company is also looking into entering Europe and South America, potentially through acquisitions.
 
The holding company for precious metals retailers Melbourne Mint, Australian Bullion Company and Gold Merchants International would like to acquire gold wholesalers to complement its retail operations and help the company diversify geographically, he said. Ideal targets should have long-term relationships with gold suppliers and be able to scale up in size.

The company is looking to self fund deals under the AUD 10m (USD 9.2m) range, he added.
 
Melbourne is currently performing due diligence on a target in China and would continue to seek targets if this deal does not go through, August said. China is seen as a favorable market as it has overtaken India, once the most aggressive buyer of gold.
 
It is receptive to hearing from financial advisors acting on behalf of targets in China, Europe and South America. It is also interested in hearing from law firms and accountancy firms in China that could assist with market entry, August continued.
 
The company has appointed a legal advisor in Europe to assist with its market entry, he said, declining to say if they were looking at any specific opportunity in South America.
 
Its group revenues are in the AUD 200m (USD 184.5m) range, August said. He acquired the Australian Bullion Company, which had been around since 1972, in 2008 from previous owners the Western Australia government, Newmont Mining [NYSE:NEM] and gold refinery company AGR Matthey, he noted.
 
August owns more than 50% of the group and the remainder is held by his business partner. Both have no exit plans at the moment, he said.



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