A.I. Ltd subsidiary, aiConstruction, is planning to diversify into the booming iron ore sector and pursue acquisitions after listing on the Australian Securities Exchange under the name of Forge Group Ltd. a.i. Ltd disclosed in February that it planned to demerge its construction and automotive arms. Forge does not plan to raise any capital prior to its listing but has issued a prospectus for an in-specie distribution of shaers to a.i. Ltd shareholders and to effect the granting of up to 6.2 million options to its directors and employees. The group’s short-term focus will be to complete the integration of its aiConstruction and Cimeco businesses, which will trade under the name Cimeco Pty Ltd but be owned by Forge as a holding company. aiConstruction was established in 2001 through the merger of three existing businesses, while Cimeco was bought by a.i. Ltd in July 2006, about one year after Cimeco had bought South West construction company, Devaugh Pty Ltd. The merged business has annual revenue of about $75 million and will provide project management, construction, installation, fabrication and civil contracting services. Managing director Peter Hutchinson said the integration should be complete by June 2007. “Thereafter it is proposed to use the expanded client base of the merged businesses to offer a broader range of services to the construction sector,” he said in the prospectus. “In the medium to longer term, Forge Group Ltd will look for acquisitions to further complement its investment in Cimeco.” The prospectus states that Forge will have a particular emphasis on introducing its services to the iron ore sector. It will also consider buying businesses ranging from $5 million to $50 million. New directors of Forge will be Cimeco chief executive Andrew Ellison and Blakiston & Crabb partner and commercial lawyer Marcello Cardaci. -Mark Beyer
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