Hopes Penrice Soda Holdings jobs could be saved

There are hopes that potential buyers of beleaguered South
Australian manufacturer Penrice Soda Holdings may want to take on the company as
a continuing operation and jobs there could be saved.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that McGrathNicol is the
administrator of Penrice Soda Holdings.

McGrathNicol partner Sam Davies told the Advertiser that
there are several international and local bidders involved.

“Importantly for Penrice workers and suppliers, the offers
are for the plant and the quarry as continuing operations. This augurs well for
our ability to save local jobs,” he said.

The company was placed into administration in April as it
looked for a solution to a $117 million debt.

As AAP reports, McGrathNicol decided to cut 11 jobs at
the company’s Osborne Park plant in Perth and
called for voluntary redundancies.

The company manufactures sodium bicarbonate and quick lime.
It also imports and distributes soda ash throughout Asia and operates a
limestone mine at Angaston in South Australia. It had turnover of $137 million
in 2012-13.

In June 2013, Penrice Soda stopped manufacturing soda ash
and moved to importing.

Non-binding indicative offers closed last week and, according
to Mr Davies, a shortlist of bidders will be prepared nest week. Administrators
have not disclosed how many bids have been received.