Jacobs Engineering Acquires Australian IT Services Firm Uniqueworld

2nd Dec 2011. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE: JEC) has announced the acquisition of UniqueWorld, an Australian IT services company head officed in Sydney, by its Australian subsidiary, Jacobs Australia Pty Ltd.

In a simultaneous announcement, Uniqueworld shareholder ASX listed Tag Pacific (ASX:TAG) announced that Uniqueworld management had completed a buyout of Uniqueworld’s RecordPoint software business.

Whilst terms for each of the above transactions have not been disclosed, Tag Pacific announced it had received A$5.4m cash for its 38% stake in Uniqueworld Group, valuing both deals at a combined A$14.21m, indicating and EBIT/EBITDA multiple in the order of 5 times.

For its 38% shareholding, cash proceeds on completion from all sources to Tag Pacific totalled $4.6m with a further $0.8m held in an escrow account, and released in two equal instalments on the first and second anniversaries of the transaction, subject to any warranty or other claims under the transaction documentation.

Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of professional technical services, with annual revenues of nearly $10 billion. Jacobs President and CEO Craig Martin stated, “Unique World is comprised of a strong, engaged team with solid delivery focus. Their strengths are a great complement to Jacobs and to our mutually client-focused culture.”

For Jacobs, the acquisition allows it to expand its capabilities in Australia to include IT services, as well as to expand its services with existing customers such as mining and minerals clients, the Department of Defense and other public sector agencies and commercial businesses. Jacobs views IT services to be a particularly strong market, and this acquisition aligns with Jacobs’ strategy to grow key markets in new and existing locations outside of the U.S.

Unique World CEO Eddie Geller stated, “By joining Jacobs we’re expanding our global resource base and broadly enhancing our capabilities. This is a tremendous opportunity for both the clients and employees of Unique World.”

Unique World’s IT services concentrate on information and knowledge management; enterprise collaboration and intranets and portals solutions using Microsoft SharePoint Server.

Between 2000 and 2004, Tag Pacific invested A$1.1m in Uniqueworld. “The sale of our Unique World Group investment has delivered us a healthy profit and tops up our cash reserves at the same time,” said Tag Chairman Peter Wise. “It follows on from the exit of our iSoft stake in July 2011 and marks the end of a decade long direct investment in the information technology area.”.

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