2 July 2018

DWS Group acquires Canberra IT consulting firm Projects Assured in $43 million deal

| Ian Bushnell
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Projects Assured co-founders David O'Rourke and Greg Sly. Photo: Supplied

Projects Assured co-founders David O’Rourke and Greg Sly. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra strategic management and IT consulting business Projects Assured has been acquired by DWS Group for $43 million in a deal that will give the national IT services group a significant footprint in the national capital and access to key Federal Government clients.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, DWS said it would acquire 100 per cent of Projects Assured, effective 2 July, for an initial payment of $30 million, to be funded by cash reserves and debt, followed by further performance-based payments of $13 million over five years.

Projects Assured co-founders and Joint Executive General Managers, David O’Rourke and Greg Sly, will stay on, signing minimum five-year contracts with DWS.

DWS says it will gain an experienced leadership team, increased exposure to Canberra-based and Federal Government clients, and an opportunity to diversify the Group’s earnings.

Projects Assured’s forecast annual revenue for the 2018-19 financial year is about $35 to $40 million. Last year, it grew its revenue by 158.4 per cent to hit $17.7 million, earning the No.5 spot on the 2017 CRN Fast50. At the time, the company had 90 permanent staff.

DWS Chief Financial Officer Stuart Whipp said the acquisition gave the Melbourne-headquartered company the footprint it wanted in Canberra.

He said Project Assured was a well-established business with an excellent client portfolio and a high-calibre workforce already servicing the Canberra market.

“We’d been looking for a while to find a like-minded business we believe has high-quality staff and a high-quality management team for us to purchase to get a decent-sized footprint and the scalability we were looking for in Canberra,” he said.

Mr Whipp said DWS was not planning any changes and that a key part of the deal was the current management team staying on.

DWS has a diverse service offering and Projects Assured will add a management consultant string to its bow.

Mr Whipp said existing DWS clients could now be serviced by Projects Assured and vice versa.

“We’ll look to make sure that we now give the full service offering to all clients,” he said.

David O’Rourke and Greg Sly said in a statement that DWS shared their vision for the future of the Projects Assured business and they were delighted to be part of a leading ASX-listed Australian IT services group.

“We are looking forward to working with the DWS executive and management team to provide an enhanced service offering to our existing and future clients and to continue to provide a rewarding, challenging and ‘best place to work’ environment for all of our employees.”

The acquisition means the DWS Group – which has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide plus a small office in Canberra – will now have more than 800 employees nationally.

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