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Opus expands Australian unit with A$1.7m acquisition

Opus International Consultants [NZX: OIC], the engineering firm with one of four mandates to lead design the Christchurch rebuild, has expanded its Australian business buying Bowdens Group Australia for A$1.7 million.

The Wellington-based company will add the survey, civil engineering and water services design firm to its Australian unit, opening a new office in Parramatta, it said in a statement. Bowden managing director Greg Gearin will lead the new Parramatta office, which will add 16 staff to Opus's 420 strong workforce in Australia, and report to Australian managing director Melvyn Maylin.

The company will pay A$1.4 million in cash, A$200,000 in shares and a further A$100,000 if certain performance targets are met.

"The purchase of the business gives us a broader range of complementary services in survey and water engineering," managing director David Prentice said. "It also allows us to enter additional market sectors through Bowden's existing contracts with key clients."

Opus's Australian unit accounted for about 16 percent of its $462.9 million annual revenue in 2013. The company's underlying earnings gained 14 percent to $34.3 million in the year after expanding its Canadian business with the acquisition of engineering consultancy Stewart Weir.

The shares were unchanged at $2.10 today, and have increased 1 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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