Waterman Group Increases Shareholding in Australian Businesses
Waterman Group plc (“Waterman” or “the Group”), the engineering and environmental consultant, is pleased to announce that it has increased its shareholding in its Australian businesses in Melbourne and Sydney.
On 1st April 2015, Waterman completed the purchase of an additional 20% of Waterman International (Asia) Pty Ltd (“WIA”) from a retiring operational director, John North, for the sum of AUD 1.6 million (equivalent to approximately £0.82 million at 1.94 AUD:GBP) before transaction costs (the “Acquisition”) and now owns 100% of WIA. The purchase was funded by a four year AUD 1.6 million term loan from HSBC Bank plc. Interest on the loan will be charged at 2.5% per annum over AUD LIBOR.
Following the Acquisition, Waterman owns 100% (previously: 80%) of Waterman’s Sydney business, Waterman AHW Pty Ltd and 51% (previously: 41 %) of Waterman’s Melbourne business, Waterman AHW (Vic) Pty Ltd. The remaining 49% of Waterman AHW (Vic) Pty Ltd is owned by operational directors in the Melbourne business.
Based on the audited accounts for the financial year ending 30th June 2014, the Group’s increased holdings equate to AUD 103,000 (£59,000 at 1.74 AUD:GBP) of additional profit after tax attributable to owners of the parent (before the impact of the interest on the new loan referred to above).
Based on the cash held in the Australia businesses at 28th February 2015 of AUD 3.7m (£1.9m at 1.97 AUD:GBP), following the purchase, the Group’s share of the cash deposits will increase by AUD 0.6m (£0.3m at 1.97 AUD:GBP).
As John North, by virtue of his directorship of WIA, is a related party of the Company under the Listing Rules, the Acquisition qualifies as a “smaller related party transaction” under Listing Rule 11.1.10 R which does not require shareholder approval.
In addition, following the purchase John North will be retiring from Waterman on 30th April 2015.
Overall, the purchase of his shareholding is considered by the Board to be earnings and value enhancing.
Nick Taylor, Chief Executive said:-
“We are looking to further expand our operations in Australia and the range of services the Group offers its clients. Over the last two years, we have been through a period of planned transition and internal appointment of the next generation of Managing Directors and Director of Operations in both our Melbourne and Sydney offices. This process has enabled us to build on our strengths and generate a strategy to create a stronger Waterman Australian business.”
“The Board thanks John North for his significant contribution to the business over 21 years, with 13 years as Chairman of Waterman AHW Pty Ltd. We wish him a long and happy retirement.”
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