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9 May, 2007 - 11:32 By Staff Reporter

Dutch firm pledges growth for its new Cambs subsidiary

Dutch engineering group Imtech NV, has promised growth and continuity for its new Cambridgeshire subsidiary, technical services provider Aqua Group, following its £16.4m acquisition.

Imtech is determined to emulate its overseas success in the UK and become one of the top three providers of technical services to the ICT, marine and technology markets and the Aqua purchase allows it to plug an important geographical hole in its UK coverage.

It takes Imtech’s UK revenues beyond £205m and extends its reach across the East of England and into the burgeoning eastern sector of Greater London, finally covering the entire southern region of the UK for Imtech with respect to the market for multidisciplinary service provision.

Imtech says it is this region in particular where the heart of Britain’s healthy economy is situated and where the demand for complete technological solutions is seeing a rapid boom.

WIth the acquisition, the company is now firmly on course for the top three market lead it is seeking in the UK and Spain and will use a £137m war chest to fund further acquisitions in the UK and abroad.

Head of corporate communications at Imtech, Pieter Koenders, said: “We are number one in Germany and Luxembourg, top two in the Netherlands, top three in Belgium and want to get into the top three in Spain and the UK so we are focusing growth there.”

This is being hungrily pursued both organically and acquisitively. Last year the group increased revenues by 20 per cent to £2.0bn – seven per cent organically – and EBITDA was up 31 per cent – 13 per cent organically.

The Aqua Group itself has experienced two years of record turnover and as a top 20 HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) contractor in the building services industry, believes the sale will enable it to strengthen its market position and “move to the next level.”

Imtech believes the group’s huge resources and sales streams will provide Aqua with an opportunity to mirror the success of the Meica Group which doubled revenues in three years following its integration into the Imtech family.

“Collaboration between all of the Imtech companies in the UK leads to a broader market penetration, greater innovation, lower overhead costs and greater management potential. Imtech will also become appealing as a party to work for in the UK labour market,” said a company statement.

“Judging by the recent developments surrounding the UK acquisitions of the Meica Group and Goodmarriott & Hursthouse, and the recently acquired Peek Traffic, Aqua is likely to see a future char-acterised by healthy growth under the financially strong wing of Imtech.”

Swavesey-based Aqua Group is a multidisciplinary technical service provider and maintenance provider in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering – air conditioning and climate control technology – ICT, data and telecommunications, security and control in the growing market of utilities.

It has around 210 employees and annual revenue of over £25m for 2006 and Imtech believes its activities fit in seamlessly with those of Imtech in general and those of the current UK Imtech companies in particular.

In the months leading up to the sale the group, chairman and founder, Dick Gibson, has stressed: “There is a need for continuity for all the Aqua staff and employees, plus the requirement for Aqua to control it’s own destiny in the future with a strategy that benefits staff, customers and the supply chain alike.”

Imtech says this fits in perfectly with its strategy and following the acquisition, Aqua’s existing management will be retained “for a number of years for the sake of continuity,” while Aqua has stated it will be very much “business as usual.”

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