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Johns Lyng targets US market with $201 million acquisition

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Johns Lyng Group has agreed to acquire Colorado-based Reconstruction Holdings and its subsidiaries (Reconstruction Experts) for $US144 million ($201 million), saying the move will provide the business with an immediate, established base in the vast US market.

The group announced the acquisition last week, which will be made via a 100% owned subsidiary that has entered into a binding share purchase agreement with the US company.

To oversee the expanded business, CEO Scott Didier will assume the role of Global CEO on January 1 and reside between Melbourne and Denver, where Reconstruction Holdings’ headquarters is located.

Executive Director and COO Lindsay Barber will assume the role of Global COO while Executive Director and EGM Nick Carnell will become Australian CEO.

Johns Lyng says the executive changes are the first “major management restructure” since the Australian insurance-focused building services provider listed in 2017.

Mr Didier says the US acquisition - which is expected to close on January 1 pending clearance of customary conditions - represents an “exciting opportunity” for the business. Reconstruction Experts is a leading provider of insurance-focused repair services to occupied properties in the US.

“Having established a US presence through the Steamatic acquisition in 2019, we have developed a clear picture of the opportunities to create value for our shareholders by extending our expertise and core service offerings in the US market,” Mr Didier said.

“We were attracted to Reconstruction Experts as a platform for our US growth strategy, given the strong culture of its key management team members with whom we have built close relationships over the last few months while reviewing this transaction.

He says the Reconstruction Experts management team has built an impressive business, one that has put in place the key building blocks and systems that “should support sustainable growth”.

“We believe that we can add significant value and capabilities to assist Reconstruction Experts in accelerating its expansion plans,” Mr Didier said.

“We are incredibly excited to bring Reconstruction Experts into the [Johns Lyng Group] partnership model and look forward to commencing immediately with the aligned management team on pursuing a growth strategy to drive value for all our stakeholders.”

Johns Lyng says it is undertaking a fully underwritten $230 million equity raising program to fund the acquisition and its related transaction expenses. The fund raising includes an institutional placement of $187.5 million.

It says Reconstruction Experts is expected to be immediately and significantly earnings accretive on a pro-forma basis.

About 80% of Reconstruction Experts’ revenues are generated from defect and damage insurance related work such as fixing construction defects and man-made or weather-related property damage.

Johns Lyng expects Reconstruction Experts to contribute about $96.9 million in revenue for the second-half of this financial year to June 30.

The business has accordingly raised its earnings guidance for this financial year, bumping up its forecast revenue to $732.3 million from $635.4 million previously and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $73.1 million from $60.1 million.