Aukett Swanke Group Plc (“ASG”, “Company” or “Group”)
Acquisition of John R Harris & Partners Limited
Aukett Swanke Group Plc (“ASG”) the international group of architects and interior designers is pleased to announce that it has today acquired a controlling interest in John R Harris & Partners Limited (“JRHP”), a well-established firm of architects, interior designers, engineers and master planners incorporated in Cyprus and operating in the Middle East.
The total consideration for the acquisition is £897,000 for an 80 percent interest and is being satisfied in cash, funded from the Group’s existing balances. ASG will remain debt-free post acquisition. The 20 percent shareholding in JRHP will continue to be held by two of its current directors who will remain in employment with the enlarged Group. The vendors of JRHP, who were not employees, resigned from the JRHP board at completion.
JRHP has 27 staff which together with ASG’s existing international network of subsidiaries, joint ventures, associates and licensees creates an enlarged workforce of in excess of 370 staff.
ASG has recognised for some time that its existing operation in the Middle East whilst maintaining a presence in the UAE, has lacked the critical mass to successfully bid for some of the larger and more prestigious projects available. This acquisition addresses the regional capacity issue.
The impact of combining JRHP with ASG’s existing business is therefore highly significant for us as it considerably improves our market position and offer in the Middle East. The acquisition will further provide the opportunity for some overhead cost savings and is expected to be earnings enhancing in the Group’s current financial year to 30 September 2015.
JRHP has developed a full service offer in architecture, interior design, engineering and planning consultancy in a range of new build and refurbishment sectors, including hotel, retail, residential, industrial and government work.
More recent work includes a number of high end individual villa and residential complexes, schools, Bank branch fit-outs in Oman, a large marine facility in the Gulf region, along with a number of new commissions in Dubai assisting major contractors and consultants.
In the year to 31 December 2014 JRHP made pre-tax profits of £182,000 on revenues of £2,583,000 and had net assets of £489,000 as at that date. A further term of the acquisition is that, in addition to its share of JRHP’s earnings, ASG will be entitled to a fixed annual proportion of JRHP’s revenue after deduction of sub-consultant costs as an annual management charge.
Commenting on the acquisition, Nicholas Thompson CEO said:
“We have been seeking to augment our Middle East offering for some time and are delighted that we have been able to secure a major shareholding in JRHP. Its rich history, coupled with our own, make for a robust platform in both our scale of operation and design skill from which we can continue our expansion plans for the region.”
Aukett Swanke Group Plc
020 7843 3000
Nicholas Thompson, Chief Executive Officer
Beverley Wright, Group Finance Director
020 7220 0500
Corporate Finance, Julian Blunt, James Thompson
Corporate Broking, Stephen Norcross
Hermes Financial PR
Chris Steele : 07979 604687
Trevor Philips : 07889 153628