Serco buys out Australian maritime JV partner

International services giant Serco has bought out its 15-year joint venture partner in Australian defence and marine services business DMS Maritime Pty Ltd.

International services giant Serco has bought out its 15-year joint venture partner in Australian defence and marine services business DMS Maritime Pty Ltd.

Serco, which manages everything from traffic management and computer support to airspace and education, has signed an agreement to purchase P&O Maritime Services' 50% equity stake in DMS Maritime for A$106m (around £68m) in cash on completion.

The firm said: "This transaction is key to Serco's strategy to grow our defence operations in Australia, and in particular to pursue more complex opportunities that may emerge from new capability requirements for the Australian Defence Force to be detailed in its forthcoming White Paper 2013."

DMS Martime is one of the largest maritime service operators in Australia with facilities in every major port. It has around 450 employees and contractors.

The business is expected to have net debt of around $38m on completion, giving a valuation for 100% of the business on a cash-free and debt-free basis of A$250m (approximately £160m)

"DMS Maritime is a high quality business that we have known intimately since Serco first established the joint venture some 15 years ago to provide a complex range of harbour and offshore services for the Royal Australian Navy," said Chief Executive Christopher Hyman.

"The business shares Serco's commitment to customer focus, has grown well and will be further enhanced under our full ownership. We believe that it will benefit from the continuing development of our defence business from a base support services provider to a complex services integrator, and from the significant opportunities that we see in the marine systems integration and services market - both for government and private sector customers."

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