Marubeni takes 40% stake in Osmoflo

Marubeni Corporation of Japan has taken a 40% stake in Adelaide-based Osmoflo, Australia’s leading locally owned desalination company.

The new investment will help expand Osmoflo’s capability, particularly in the resources, power and municipal sectors, and develop relationships with large construction contractors to facilitate involvement in large-scale desalination projects.

Founded by Marc and Annie Fabig in 1991, Osmoflo is a premier Australian desalination company, particularly in the resources and energy sectors. The company has experienced phenomenal growth and has built more than half the desalination plants in use in Australia today, particularly those in the industrial sector. Osmoflo operates around 130 of the 300-plus plants it has supplied.

“This investment by Marubeni will substantially benefit the company and give us the commercial strength to accelerate our growth by pursuing projects at a larger scale than has been possible to date,” said Osmoflo’s managing director, Marc Fabig. “Marubeni has global interests in oil, gas, mining, power and numerous other activities and will position us as its strategic partner for desalination and industrial water treatment projects internationally as well as in Australia.”

Marc and Annie Fabig will continue to be majority shareholders. However the independent board set up to oversee corporate governance will be restructured to reflect Marubeni’s interest. The new board will work with the current management team to capitalise on the opportunities offered by Marubeni’s involvement.

Adelaide, where the majority of Osmoflo’s 170 employees are located, will continue to be the hub of corporate, design and engineering activities, supporting sales, technical service, operations and maintenance teams located around the country. The company’s facility at Burton, the largest in the southern hemisphere dedicated to the fabrication of desalination plants, will be further developed.

In recent months, Osmoflo has demonstrated its capability to bid and win complex recycling projects involving the replacement of increasingly expensive potable water used in industrial processes by treated wastewater.