Seymour Whyte will pay $27.5 million cash and issue 9.6 million shares (worth a total of $13.7 million at current value) to the owners of the business, Rob and Catherine Carr.
It will utilise Rob Carr’s existing operations in WA, Queensland and New South Wales to grow both geographically and into new sectors.
Rob Carr is a civil construction business specialising in pipe construction and micro-tunneling, run jointly from offices in Welshpool and Brisbane.
It has a customer base and track record in the water and power sectors that Seymour Whyte hopes to add to its experience in the transport, resources and utilities sectors.
The private company was established by Rob Carr in 1989 in Victoria and in 1996 moved its head office to WA, which Seymour Whyte said was an important growth market.
Seymour Whyte managing director David McAdams said the company had assessed more than 50 potential businesses before deciding Rob Carr was the best fit and proceeding with negotiations for the company’s first acquisition.
“This is an exciting business that provides a range of new growth opportunities and offers a strong alignment of operating cultures and professional competencies,” he said.
Founder of his namesake business, Rob Carr, and other senior management will remain with the company and will report to Seymour Whyte as a separate business unit.
Rob Carr reported revenue of $48.4 million in the 2013 financial year with after-tax profit of $4.8 million.
With the benefit of Seymour Whyte’s larger financial capacity (it is forecasting $320 million revenue for the 2014 financial year), Rob Carr will be positioned to bid for larger projects with an average value of $20 million to $50 million.