Downer mining sale off

DOWNER EDI has suspended the potential sale process for its mining business due to market volatility caused by COVID-19.
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The company has been conducting a review into the division since August 2019, which it said continued to perform well.

"As we said when we announced the portfolio review, Downer's mining business is a leader in Australia with a proven track record and it is well positioned to build on its strong market position and pipeline of work," Downer CEO Grant Fenn said.

Perenti recently confirmed it was interested in acquiring the division, but said today it had suspended its participation in the process due to market conditions.

The Perth-based contractor said it continued to believe the potential acquisition had strategic merit, however, considers that structuring and funding a transaction in the current period of market uncertainty and volatility would not be in the best interests of shareholders.

"We will maintain a watching brief on the situation and do not rule out re-engaging with Downer if market conditions improve," Perenti managing director Mark Norwell said.

"It is important we maintain discipline around our growth strategy. Creating value for our shareholders is always at the forefront of our thinking and will continue to be as we execute against the initiatives detailed in our 2025 group strategy."

Meanwhile, Downer said it would continue the process in relation to the potential sale of its laundries business.

Shares in Downer dropped 5.2% to A$3.96, while Perenti was down 4.7% to 90c, just half a cent above the 52-week low.