Their clients have been enjoying the share market spoils for a few years now, but Alan and Kylie Brierty’s decision to float the mining and civil contracting business they founded 26 years ago happened more by chance.
Their clients have been enjoying the share market spoils for a few years now, but Alan and Kylie Brierty’s decision to float the mining and civil contracting business they founded 26 years ago happened more by chance than any great desire to become a publicly listed company.
It was earlier this year, Mr Brierty recalls, when he and his wife sought professional advice after receiving a takeover approach by a major east-coast construction contractor, that the idea of listing was first raised.
“We were told there was another way of doing it,” Mr Brierty said.
And by listing, he said, the company could bring in additional expertise to help manage its expanding operations.
“We are turning over between $220 million and $240 million, and that is a lot of responsibility for two people,” Mr Brierty said.
The couple and some of their employees, including their son Ryan and daughter Shannon, will pocket $30 million via the $60 million initial public offer and will retain 45.5 per cent of the company upon listing.
It’s been a long journey for the Briertys, who established the company in 1981 alongside Mr Brierty’s brother, Michael, who left the company about a year later to pursue other commercial interests.
Brierty, which is currently constructing part of Fortescue’s railway in the Pilbara, initially developed roads and car parks. It sfirst big job, Mr Brierty said, was developing the 40 kilometre Cue to Mt Magnet highway in 1992.
Mr Brierty, 58, said that floating the company also solved the perennial issue of succession planning.
“I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 70,” he said.
Age has also been a factor for Frank Tomasi, who at 65 has decided now is the time to list the company he started in 1978, Southern Cross Electrical Engineering, via a $58.8 million initial public offer that will net Mr Tomasi $38.8 million.
Mr Tomasi, however, is not riding off into the sunset just yet. He will continue to manage the company as executive chairman.
“I’m not retiring but if I go back 10 years I was 55 years old and had no reason to do it,” Mr Tomasi said.
“We are going to increase gradually. There is a tendency for people to take on too much work and not have the people to do it.”