Global infrastructure and renewable energy leader ACCIONA has made its first major investment in an Australian company with the acquisition of Victoria’s leading diversified civil engineering services business, Geotech Group.
The transaction significantly strengthens ACCIONA’s construction business in Australia, a key strategic market that is poised for very strong growth.
The investment will see the formation of a new company, ACCIONA Geotech Holding, bringing together ACCIONA’s future construction pipeline in Australia and New Zealand and the Geotech Group of companies. The new group will be majority owned by ACCIONA Infrastructure Asia Pacific and headquartered in Victoria.
ACCIONA has agreed to contribute three projects currently in the bidding phase, as well as an undertaking to channel future bids for civil engineering projects in Australia and New Zealand via ACCIONA Geotech Holding.
José Manuel Entrecanales, Chairman and CEO of ACCIONA, said: "The integration of Geotech marks a step change in ACCIONA's growth plans in Australia and South East Asia. The deal effectively doubles ACCIONA’s Australian offering, strongly positioning the combined group of over 1,000 employees for major transport infrastructure projects across the region."
"ACCIONA and Geotech have complementary technical and geographical strengths. The integration of our two companies will allow us to become a leading, diversified contractor in the Australia Pacific region with genuine Australian roots,"" Mr Entrecanales said.
ACCIONA Geotech Holding's financial strength and depth of in-house engineering expertise will make it a significant player in Australia’s transport infrastructure sector. The two companies in Australia are joining forces at a time when the country is seeing a quantum leap in the number, size and complexity of infrastructure projects. As a result, builders are having to step up their game.
ACCIONA, present in Australia since 2002, has global expertise in managing very large and complex infrastructure projects, such as the Legacy Way tunnels in Brisbane, which have won awards for innovation and sustainability. ACCIONA was looking for a partner with complementary strengths and deep roots in the Victoria and Australian market to accelerate its growth in Australia.
Geotech, for its part, had identified a need in the market for more sophisticated project management skills, and was seeking a partner to help meet those needs. Geotech has grown significantly in recent years, but further growth required another level of financial strength and experience in more complex projects.
ACCIONA and Geotech have worked together on a number of projects in Australia over the past four years and share a commitment to innovation and excellence in engineering. Both are family-run businesses that found additional common ground in their commitment to sustainability and community, and a long-term approach to value creation.
ACCIONA Geotech Holding will be a fully integrated engineering group with a holistic approach to project delivery, from designing infrastructure projects to comprehensive on-site delivery.
Geotech Group's Bede Noonan has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of ACCIONA Geotech Holding, while Garry Hounsell, ACCIONA’s Advisory Chairman in Australia and Asia, will serve as Chairman. Dieter Adamsas, Chairman of Geotech Group, has been appointed to the Board. As Managing Director of ACCIONA Infrastructure Asia Pacific, Fernando Fajarado will also be joining ACCIONA Geotech Holding’s board and will act as Deputy Managing Director of the new company.
ACCIONA is a global leader in sustainable solutions for infrastructure and renewable energy projects. Its expertise covers the entire value chain from research and development and design to the construction, operation and maintenance of projects. The Company is present in more than 30 countries, where its business activities seek to contribute to the economic and social progress of the communities in which it operates. ACCIONA aims to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy by investing in innovation and adopting processes and quality standards that optimise the use of resources and protect the environment in all its business activities. The Company posted revenues of €6.0 billion in 2016.
Present in Australia since 2002, ACCIONA has invested $680 million in its Australian operations and employs more than 500 people in its renewable energy, infrastructure and water projects across the country.
ACCIONA Energy has built and owns three wind farms in Australia, one through a joint venture, and has developed a strong pipeline of projects for construction. The wind farms at Waubra in Victoria, Gunning in New South Wales and Cathedral Rocks in South Australia produce 304.5MW of green energy, equivalent to the energy needs of 205,000 households. It will shortly begin construction of its fourth wind farm at Mount Gellibrand in Victoria. It also built and services the 20MW Royalla solar project near Canberra for a client. (ACCIONA Energy Australia is not part of the transaction and will continue to operate as an independent business within the ACCIONA group of companies.)
ACCIONA Infrastructure has completed the landmark Legacy Way tunnels in Brisbane and is involved in a number of transport projects across the country including the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in Queensland, the Pacific Highway upgrade between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads, the 1.5 km long bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood, and the Sydney Light Rail project in New South Wales. It has several teams working on bids in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. In the water sector, ACCIONA Agua was part of the consortium that built and now operates the Adelaide Desalination Plant for SA Water, the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant near Perth. It is now is building water treatment plants on the Sunshine Coast and Tasmania.