Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest has made a move into Australian shipbuilding, having acquired an ownership interest in Austral.
Forrest’s investment arm, Tattarang, has snapped up around 17.73m shares in the company in a cash-settled equity swap transaction, the equivalent of 4.9% of the company.
Tattarang has also been buying shares on-market and has now invested around $54.5m in Austral to take its holdings to 8.1%.
Austal is Australia’s global shipbuilder, operating shipyards at Henderson in Perth, Cebu in the Philippines, Vietnam, China and the US. Austal builds defence vessels in Australia and the US, while commercial ships are produced from the Philippines, Vietnam and Chinese joint venture operations.
Forrest, founder, and chairman of Fortescue Metals Group is moving the miner from a pure-play iron ore producer to a diversified renewable energy and resources firm. The Perth-based group has set out to achieve net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040, addressing emissions across its entire global value chain, including the decarbonisation of its fleet and engaging with shipping partners to reduce, and aiming to eliminate, emissions from shipping. The plan also includes supporting the adoption of green ammonia for future newbuildings.