IES off the leash and looking to buy


International Energy Services will hit the acquisitions trail now has been freed from the grip of private equity, Managing Director Vin Stenta tells ATN. While praising the experience of working with Champ Private Equity, which Stenta confirms sold IES, for around the speculated $300 million mark, to the Mark Rowsthorn-led McAleese Group, Stenta says IES has a credit line to look for bolt-on acquisitions that he expects to be able to use now.

By Rob McKay | April 11, 2012

International Energy Services (IES)
will hit the acquisitions trail, now it is free of private equity's grip, Managing Director Vin Stenta tells ATN.

While praising the experience of working with Champ Private Equity, which Stenta confirms sold IES for close to the speculated $300 million mark, to the Mark Rowsthorn-led McAleese Group, Stenta says IES has a credit line to look for bolt-on acquisitions that he expects to be able to use now.

"In more recent years, we have been very much constrained in growing the business," Stenta says.

"We have a lot of opportunities with our existing companies to grow the business.

"Coming under the McAleese banner gives us an opportunity to take advantage of those opportunities . . . particularly in Western Australia with our resources customers."

Most of the new contract opportunities, including with liquids, are with existing firms.

The deal was signed and completed last Thursday.

Though the idea of floating IES had been considered as "reasonably favourable", Champ had opted for a clean break through a trade sale.

And while IES and Cootes competed in the liquids sector with Toll, where Rowsthorn was a senior manager, Stenta expects nothing to come of that.

IES management will remain unchanged and, apart from the growth strategy, it will be "business as usual" for the company.

"We will just report into the McAleese Group," Stenta says.

"The business will be run exactly the same."

He sees the purchase as a way for McAleese to strengthen its position in the resources sector.

"There is very little synergy between us and what the current McAleese businesses do.

"I don’t think this is synergies play. I think it’s more a bulking-the-McAleese-business-up play.

"We do quite a lot in the resources space. Our resources business is almost as big as our Cootes business, so together we can offer customers in the resources space a one-stop-shop for a number of different things."

Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review reports that other former Asciano executives may be set to join Rowsthorn at McAleese Group, naming former Patrick stevedores divisional manager Paul Garaty and former Pacific National Rail director Chris Keast, who both leave this year.

The newspaper speculates that, with the executives on board, McAleese will seek to float IES.

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