Dromana Estate to acquire Fastbrick for robotic building technology

Dromana Estate has announced that it will be acquiring Fastbrick Robotics, nearly a year after its last takeover deal fell through with CloudCentral.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Dromana Estate, otherwise known as DMY Capital, has announced that it will be acquiring Australian robotic building technology company Goldwig Nominees, operating as Fastbrick Robotics, as a way into the global construction industry.

Fastbrick Robotics has developed a robotic building technology designed to automate the bricklaying process from design to finished brickwork of an average house within one to two days.

To date, Fastbrick has spent AU$7 million on the design and development of the robotic building technology.

The development has been supported by federal government grants and Australian brick manufacturing group ABN Group, the company said.

Managing director of ABN Group Dale Alcock said the technology will bring to the forefront considerations that must be given to how to go about achieving more cost-effective ways of building homes.

"Australia's Fastbrick Robotics is at the forefront of construction automation, and its innovative robotic bricklaying technology has the potential to service the overwhelming demand for housing, quicker and cheaper than ever before," he said.

"I'm excited to see the company gain further funding support and look forward with great anticipation as the company progresses its technology to commercialisation."

Under the terms of the acquisition, Dromana will acquire all intellectual property rights and patents of Fastbrick Robotics, and will issue 150 million DMY shares. It added that it will issue up to an additional 500 million performance shares based on milestone achievements, including proof that the technology can construct a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home within three days of commencement.

Fastbrick has so far completed the construction of the Hadrian 105, a fully functional prototype.

Dromana Estate said it has appointed Cygnet Capital as lead manager to raise AU$3 million to fund the next stage of the commercialisation of Fastbrick Robotics' technology. The funds raised will be used to manufacture the Hardian 109, a machine capable of house-scale bricklaying and commercial rollout.

Following the completion of the transaction, Dromana will be making changes to its board. Existing directors Barnaby Egerton-Warburton and Holger Arians will step down from their positions; and Gabriel Chiappini will move to the role of non-executive director and company secretary. Meanwhile, three new directors will be appointed to the board: Mark Pivac will assume the role of chief technical officer; Mike Pivac will assume the role of CEO; and Shannon Robinson will assume the position of non-executive director.

Dromana Estate expects the acquisition to be completed by mid October 2015, and said that losses would increase until the Fastbrick technology was commercialised.

"DMY currently earns no operating revenue. It has minimal other income earned through interest income on its cash reserves. Fastbrick has nil operating income as it is in the development phase of its business cycle," Dromana said in a statement to the ASX.

"In addition, as DMY has no operating revenue it has been operating at a loss. As Fastbrick also has no operating revenue it is expected that the operating losses will continue post completion of the acquisition."

Last July, Dromana was close to acquiring CloudCentral as part of a reverse takeover, until the deal fell through because former iiNet executive Andrew Milner withdrew from the agreement.

Dromana Estate's chairman Gabriel Chiappini revealed at the time that the decision to terminate the agreement so abruptly was due to certain conditions not being met.

"Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond Dromana's control, the Hartleys Nominee director (Andrew Milner) and the executive that Hartleys put forward as a condition to their AU$3.5 million capital raising mandate, withdrew their Leader Manager Mandate, and Dromana was unable to complete its acquisition of CloudCentral," he said.

During the company's 2014 full-year results, the company reported a loss of AU$871,061. The company said it had racked up AU$97,524 in acquisition costs relating to the CloudCentral deal, and was going to work with the cloud service provider to "secure repayment of the loan funds advanced".

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