Listed construction company SRG Global (ASX: SRG) has announced it will pick up the Western Australian arm of Wilson Bayly Holmes - Ovcon (WBHO) Infrastructure for $15.2 million as part of an asset sale following the collapse of parent company WBHO Australia.
Completed not even a month after WBHO Australia fell into voluntary administration, SRG’s acquisition will ensure the ongoing employment of 275 engineering and operational personnel, while WBHO Infrastructure’s management team will join the SRG business.
Having operated in WA for 35 years, WBHO Infrastructure has a number of long-term, blue-chip clients and currently services a range of sectors including transport, resources, water, agriculture, waste, renewables and aviation.
In addition, SRG says it has a “long and successful history of working together on several joint venture projects” with WBHO Infrastructure, including the Ocean Reef/Wanneroo Road Interchange in the northern suburbs of Perth.
SRG Global managing director David Macgeorge said the acquisition would be complementary to its existing operations.
“We look forward to welcoming the WBHO Infrastructure WA team to SRG Global. This acquisition will ensure minimal disruption to WBHO Infrastructure’s WA business and its clients, while helping solve one of the biggest constraints to growth in the current economic environment,” Macgeorge said.
“Access to quality people is a recurring challenge for our sector. Acquiring WBHO Infrastructure will give SRG Global a competitive advantage by enhancing our capacity to deliver broader services to clients, through the addition of 275 highly skilled engineering and operational personnel.
“Importantly, our sale agreement underpins the ongoing employment of WBHO Infrastructure’s Western Australian workforce at all levels, providing certainty in an otherwise uncertain time.”
SRG said the purchase would be funded through existing cash and equipment finance facilities and will be EPS accretive from day one.
“We are pleased to achieve this sale in a timely manner, and we are grateful for the support we have received from key stakeholders including employees, clients, sub-contractors and suppliers,” Deloitte turnaround & restructuring, Western Australia leader Matt Donnelly said.
The sale of WBHO Infrastructure comes a week after Sydney-based Roberts Co announced it would acquire the Victorian assets of Probuild - another company underneath the WBHO Australia umbrella.
The divestments follow the collapse of a group of Australian property and construction companies in late-February, the result of South African-based parent company Wilson Bayly Holmes - Ovcon Limited pulling financial support, citing COVID-19 restrictions Down Under as the catalyst for the businesses’ demise.
It resulted in an uncertain future for those working at project management businesses Probuild, Monaco Hickey and WBHO Infrastructure, as well as for the multi million-dollar projects they were constructing.
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