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Acquisition gives Costain broader strength

15 September 2011

Costain has broadened the scale and scope of its business through the acquisition of Promanex, an industrial support services business.

The acquisition, which is Costain’s second in six months, will enhance its existing care and maintenance offering, and help to meet the growing needs of its customers.

Promanex provides Costain with access to new markets, customers and services in the strategically important power, nuclear decommissioning and petrochemical market and, more crucially, provides it with a solid footing in the facilities management sector, which is an area that Costain is looking to strengthen.

Darren James, the managing director of Costain’s Infrastructure Division will be responsible for the business, while Tim Bowen, Costain’s Highways Director, has been appointed as Integration Director with the task of looking at ways of cross-selling what Promanex does into the wider Costain business.

“This acquisition fits in perfectly with our wider Group strategy, which is to broaden our customer offering in care and maintenance.  An integrated approach is required by our large blue-chip customers as they look to award larger and longer contracts to fewer more capable support services business on a combined design, construct, operate and maintain basis,” said Tim.

Promanex, which operates in the facilities management, repair, maintenance and general asset management sector, will broaden Costain’s customer offering and help generate significant growth in volume and profitability as a result of being able to offer through life-cycle asset management to its customers.

Operating across the UK and Ireland, Promanex’s customer base includes a raft of blue-chip companies like Conoco Philips, EDF, E.ON, Magnox, RWE and SSE.  The business provides a range of services in the management, operation, maintenance and repair of customers’ sites and plant assets, including hard and soft facilities management, water services, such as water treatment and hygiene, specialist industrial cleaning and outage support, as well as mechanical and electrical services such as power station materials, bi-product systems and emission treatment systems.

Promanex’s Managing Director Mark Dixon, who will become Sector Director for Industrial Services, said: “We have shared ambitions with Costain, not just to grow the business but to provide excellence in health and safety and in service delivery.  We have a strong customer base as well as proven capabilities in our chosen areas and, combined with Costain’s consulting, maintenance and experience of project delivery, believe it significantly enhances what we can offer our customers.”

Costain has transformed its business in recent years, through the implementation of its ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy, from being just a civil engineering contractor into one of the UK’s leading Tier One engineering solutions providers.  A key part of the strategy has been to align itself more closely with its blue-chip customers in key chosen sectors where spending plans are underpinned by strategic national needs, regulatory commitments and essential maintenance requirements.

Costain already derives around 25% of its overall revenues from support services-related activities, with around 12% of its earnings generated from the care sector.  Costain also has serious ambitions to grow the care and maintenance side of its business and to double its profit over the medium-term.  The acquisition of Promanex, which employs over 1000 people, along with the acquisition of front-end engineering and operations support services business ClerkMaxwell in April, provides Costain with a firm base from which to realise those ambitions.

“Promanex will help drive our Industrial Services capability and further strengthen the skills and services currently retained within the two companies, particularly that of facility management and core maintenance services that are performed by our highly skilled people,” said Tim.