Our client was a leading structural and building services engineering consultancy with offices in Australia. Over its long history, it had worked on many iconic buildings across Australia. particularly hospitals and major civic projects.
In 2018, the firm decided to find a global partner to accelerate its growth in Australia and globally.
The key objectives of this move were:
1. Join a firm with scale and balance sheet to support major projects – a trend the firm was seeing in the market was clients wanting large backing to win the best projects
2. Find a firm with global skills and resources that could be leveraged locally, such as design for infrastructure and underground projects
3. Source a deal structure that rewarded the shareholders for their investment in and commitment to the business to date
4. Find an acquirer that provided an attractive workplace and international career options for their team
The client engaged Eaton Square to identify a global firm to acquire their company. It was important that this was a global search into order to find the best fit, both strategically and culturally.
Eaton Square used its global network to contact over thirty carefully selected international engineering groups, across the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. Groups demonstrating a strong interest then entered into a confidentiality deed before accessing the information memorandum and having the opportunity to meet with the firm’s leaders.
As with most of our engagements, our client received multiple offers to acquire its business. We find that this is important not only to provide competitive tension, but also to provide sellers with a range of options. For example, offers from major listed companies are very different to offers from employee owned organisations, with both providing different advantages.
As well as considering the financial and deal structural aspects of the transaction, a wide international search gives clients the opportunity to consider the different ‘work environments’ and cultures that they will become part of post transaction.
Our client was acquired by a global engineering firm. The sale will help expand its services into other major centres across Australia and fast-track its current expansion into the United States where it currently has three projects underway. In doing so, it will create greater opportunities for its 200+ employees.
From the offer stage onwards, it is important for the seller to communicate the deal with its wider team, to ensure full buy-in to the process. Our client did this successfully which provided the foundation for a strong integration of the two businesses.
Meet the Advisory Team:
Roger Collins-Woolcock, Principal
Roger is a Principal of Eaton Square and focusses on mergers and acquisitions particularly in the professional services of engineering, survey, planning, landscape architecture and quantity surveying. Roger worked for the majority of his 30-year career with ASX listed firm Cardno where he was the General Manager of the 2000 person Australia and New Zealand region.
Mark Goodwin, Managing Principal
Mark started his career as a Chartered Engineer managing the design and construction of major infrastructure projects. For the last 19 years, Mark is focused on M&A and debt and equity raisings and brings extensive experience having led a large number of successful transactions in Australia, Asia, UK and the US.