QinetiQ agrees to purchase a third Australian defence consulting company

18 Jan 2008

Acquisition of AeroStructures strengthens QinetiQ’s footprint in Australia

QinetiQ Group plc, an international defence and security technology company, announced today that it has signed an agreement to purchase the Melbourne, Australia-based engineering business of AeroStructures Group. This acquisition follows the announcement earlier this month of QinetiQ’s purchase of two other Australian defence consulting businesses – Ball Solutions Group and Novare Group – bringing the total number of QinetiQ staff in Australia to 288 with a turnover of A$48 million.

The principal business of AeroStructures Group is the engineering analysis and assessment of aircraft and helicopter structures with emphasis on structural integrity management and airframe life extension. The business also undertakes Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) management, design and inspection services and delivers specialist engineering professional development training in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

AeroStructures’ clients include the Australian Defence Force, Defence Science & Technology Organisation and overseas air forces. AeroStructures is currently undertaking full scale structural testing of the Boeing 787 wing flaps for local Boeing subsidiary Hawker de Havilland.

These acquisitions represent the continuing execution of QinetiQ’s strategy to grow its Europe, Middle East and Australasia (EMEA) capabilities. They will enhance QinetiQ’s portfolio of defence and aerospace-based expertise, provide additional routes to market and broaden QinetiQ’s customer base through existing relationships and contractual arrangements.

Commenting on the acquisition, Clive Richardson, QinetiQ’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Middle East and Australasia said: “Aerostructures is a leader in aircraft structural assessment in Australia and like Ball and Novare has synergies with QinetiQ’s capability in the UK. The three recent acquisitions we have announced in Australia will provide us with a tangible operational footprint in this growing market. They reflect our confidence in the strength of the Australian defence market and QinetiQ will continue to seek further expansion opportunities in the region."

Rod Locket, managing director of AeroStructures Group, welcomed the acquisition of the business by QinetiQ and added: “We are looking forward to drawing on QinetiQ’s depth of technical expertise and experience in the USA and Europe and leveraging these to benefit our Australian and Asia-Pacific clients."

This acquisition is subject to Commonwealth of Australia regulatory approval and is expected to complete by the end of February 2008.

Notes for Editors:

QinetiQ in Australia

AeroStructures Group (www.aerostructures.com.au). AeroStructures’ principle business is the engineering analysis and assessment of aircraft and helicopter structures with emphasis on structural integrity management and airframe life extension. The business also delivers specialist engineering professional development training in Australia, New Zealand and Asia and undertakes Non Destructive Testing (NDT) management, design and inspection services. AeroStructures has offices in South Melbourne, Victoria (Head Office); Port Melbourne, Victoria; Williamtown, New South Wales; and Oakey, Queensland.
Ball Solutions Group Pty Ltd (www.ballsolutions.com) was established in Australia 1996 and provides professional and consulting services primarily within the defence sector. The company provides strategic and operational consulting as well as services in business planning, process improvement, life cycle costing, supply chain management, performance management, capability management, speciality engineering, and systems integration. The company is headquartered in Canberra and has nine further locations across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Most of Ball Solution’s revenue is sourced direct from the Department of Defence, primarily within the aerospace domain.
Novare Services Pty Ltd (www.novare.com.au) was established in 2002 to provide explosive ordnance consultancy services to the Australian Department of Defence following the identification of a gap in the Australian market for these services. The company is headquartered in Brisbane with staff at two further locations in Canberra and Sydney. Its two main customers within the Defence Material Organisation are the Guided Weapons Explosive Ordnance branch and Guided Weapons Acquisition branch.

About QinetiQ

QinetiQ (pronounced as in 'kinetic energy') is a leading international defence and security technology business that was formed in July 2001 from the UK Government's Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA). QinetiQ has approximately 13,500 employees, who deliver technology-based services and exploit QinetiQ's strengths in technology research by selling systems solutions, products and licences to government and commercial customers in a spectrum of defence, security and related commercial markets.
In February 2006, QinetiQ Group plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange (main market) and joined the FTSE250 in June 2006. In the year to 31 March 2007, QinetiQ delivered a 17.4 per cent rise in underlying operating profit before tax to £106.0m on turnover which rose by 9.3 per cent to £1,149.5m.
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QinetiQ agrees to purchase a third Australian defence consulting company