Shipbuilder Austal has beefed up its capabilities at its Darwin boatyard, through the acquisition of Northern Territory-based hydraulic services firm Hydraulink NT and its associated business KM Engineering.
The transaction will see Austal's existing Darwin operations merged with Hydraulink's, with Austal to take an 80 per cent stake in the combined business for $8 million in cash and shares.
Austal said Hydraulink was well-established in northern Australia, with operations supporting the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Chief executive Andrew Bellamy said tapping into the Navy and border protection market in the north of Australia would be core to the company's long-term success.
"With HKME, Austal presents a robust capability tailored to supporting the Austal-built Armidale class patrol boat fleet and the forthcoming Cape class patrol boat fleet."
Mr Bellamy said the acquisition also directly addressed the needs of the US Navy, for whom Austal has contracts to build Littoral combat ships and joint high speed vessels.
"Darwin is critical to Austal's long-term strategy of supporting US Navy operations, particularly as it relates to LCS and JHSV operations," he said.
"WE expect to see these vessels in the region and want the Navy to know an experienced, professional and competent team is waiting for them.
"With HKME, Austal can address the unique logistics, maintenance, training and manning requirements of these ships."
At 11:30AM, Austal stocks were down 1.4 per cent, at $1.35.