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Acciona expands Aussie business with $197m acquisition

The Spanish developer has agreed to buy a local family-run construction business in a bid to tap the $94bn Australian infrastructure market over the next decade.

Acciona is accelerating its expansion Down Under through acquiring Geotech, an Australian developer, in a transaction valuing the latter at A$262 million ($197 million; €186 million). 

The deal includes a cash payment of A$197 million, while three key Geotech executives will receive a 17.6 percent stake in the new subsidiary, Acciona Geotech Holding, which will handle the two companies’ future pipeline of construction projects in Australia. The remaining stake in the new company will be controlled by Acciona. 

The new entity, based in Melbourne, will build on the two companies’ complementary businesses and benefit from value-chain integration, said Acciona. Geographically, Acciona Construction’s footprint is concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales, while Geotech is strongest in Victoria, although it operates nationwide. 

The acquisition seeks to “create a platform for growth that can respond to the sizable demand for infrastructure in the Australian market, estimated at A$125 billion over the next decade”. 

With a headcount of 550, family-run Geotech has been involved in large-scale infrastructure projects such as Victoria Regional Rail and Adelaide Metro. The company is also building Sydney Light Rail, in partnership with Acciona. 

For its part, the Spanish firm has been operating in Australia since 2002, with interest in construction, water and renewable energy projects. It is currently building the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, the Warrell Creek-Nambucca Heads section of the Pacific Highway and the Clarence River Bridge. Earlier this year, it was awarded two contracts to develop a waste water treatment plant in Queensland and expand another in Tasmania. 

The company is also developing its fourth wind farm in Australia, boosting its portfolio of wind assets to a total capacity of 302.5MW. It has also built a 20MW solar plant near Canberra for third parties.