• (Eptec)

Last week, Australian owned engineering company Eptec Group announced it had acquired two new companies, Australian Marine Contractors Group (AMCG) and Corrosion Control Engineering (CCE). The company said the recent acquisitions are due to enhance Eptec’s presence within the defence and infrastructure markets across Australia and New Zealand by enabling it to offer a wider range of specialised services to its Commonwealth and State Government clients. 

As a specialist coating company, and a preservation contractor to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Eptec’s footprint in the Defence sector focuses primarily in servicing the RAN’s fleet of vessels, including Anzac-class frigates.

Eptec’s CEO Geoff Knox told ADM that, “Eptec is focused on whole of asset life support; starting with new assets and setting them up with coatings and protection systems to keep them viable, and then as they age, we get involved in repairing any of the corrosion damage that has happened over their life, setting them up for the next phase of their journey.”

The acquisition of AMCG, a preservation and corrosion protection specialist, has enabled Eptec to extend its service capabilities in the Western Australian Defence market, particularly on the Anzac-class frigates. “We will now provide a wider range of services on the frigates than we did before,” Knox said.

Merging AMCG with Eptec was a clear fit, according to Knox. “We’re already working on the Anzac platforms together anyway, so it was a natural alignment of the businesses to bring those services together.”

CCE also offers Eptec the opportunity to provide additional services to its defence and infrastructure clients and will extend the company’s regional reach across the Australian and New Zealand corrosion protection markets. CCE, a cathodic protection and corrosion prevention specialist, utilises electronic means to prevent corrosion, “the next level of corrosion protection from what we do,” said Knox. “The two companies combined will be able to offer end-to-end cathodic protection solutions.

“The timing was right between the two businesses to bring them together. We started that journey a little over 18 months ago, working out what could we do together to provide better value to the market as one group rather than two,” Knox said.

Knox spoke of the new phase Eptec was entering as a result of the transition from three companies to one. “All these businesses are focussed on providing really good quality services to valued customers, with quite specialised assets. What we’re doing is continuing to bring together these sorts of businesses to provide better services for our customers,” he said.

While Eptec is due to integrate AMCG’s staff of 30 into its existing Defence business in Henderson, Western Australia, CCE will join Eptec as a stand-alone division with minor organisational restructuring but no staffing changes as a result. Knox assured ADM: “We are growing all of the businesses together. We need more people, not fewer.”

Over the past few years, Eptec said it had been looking for an opportunity to add complimentary services to its portfolio to better facilitate its defence and infrastructure clients. “The merging of AMCG and CCE into the company positions Eptec as one of the preeminent businesses in corrosion protection in Australia,” said Knox. “The acquisitions aim to enable the contracting group to access broader opportunities in the market to provide integrated ‘whole of life asset remediation’ and maintenance services for the RAN and across Australia and New Zealand.”

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