Qinetiq targets Australia in EMEA expansion

UK-based defence group Qinetiq is making its first investment in Australia with the purchase of consulting businesses Ball Solutions and Novare Services

The deals, worth a total of A$20m, will provide the company with 185 staff located in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. They are expected to be completed by the end of February 2008, subject to regulatory approval, after which the companies will trade as QinetiQ Consulting Pty Ltd.

Ball Solutions was established by its US parent Ball Aerospace & Technologies in 1996 and is headquartered in Canberra. Most of its annual revenues of A$29m come from aerospace contracts with the Australian Department of Defence. Novare, whose expertise is in explosive ordnance and weapons, aerospace systems, advanced technical data management and performance based contracting, has annual revenues of A$6.1m and is being acquired from a management team that will remain with the company.

Qinetiq, which was formed in 2001 from the UK government's Defence Evaulation and Research Agency, said that the acquisitions are part of a strategy to grow its Europe, Middle East and Australasia capabilities. The company said in its interim results to the end of September 2007 that its international focus would be on expanding beyond the UK and North America, with the initial target being Australia and selected Middle and Far East markets.

Group CEO Graham Love commented: "These acquisitions reflect our confidence in the strength of the Australian defence market and will establish QinetiQ as a leading provider of independent advice services within the country. We will also be seeking to leverage synergies between these companies and our businesses in the UK and USA to provide additional benefits to our Australian customers."

Image: QinetiQ is spending A$20m on its Australian acquisitions

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