Cardno bringing SUE to Australia

Cardno plans to leverage off Australian Underground Services’ existing client base to further develop its services locating business, a strategy that Cardno has been targeting since the acquisition of Cardno TBE in late 2008.“The acquisition of AUS will allow us to transfer our professional subsurface utility engineering [SUE] global expertise from Cardno TBE, based in Tampa, Florida, to Australia,” Cardno managing director Andrew Buckley said.“We see AUS as a highly strategic partner to help drive the growth of SUE services in Australia and we are already looking to establish a presence in other Australian states.”Cardno believes the Australian infrastructure market is ready for the introduction of SUE as a means of improving the accuracy of the utility information used for design and construction of physical infrastructure projects.“It is documented that SUE will reduce costs and provide accountability through the certification of the location, identification and mapping of underground utilities prior to construction,” Buckley said.He noted that Cardno was working with Standards Australia to introduce a standard for SUE services for Australia and New Zealand along the lines of the standards used in the United States and Canada.Since commencing operations in January 2005, the Victoria-based AUS has developed a solid client base of state road authorities, national contractors and engineering consulting firms.Managing director and founder of AUS Scott Guy said the acquisition by Cardno would enable AUS to increase its service offering and be positioned to be the premier provider of SUE services for Australia.Cardno will pay $6 million for AUS on an enterprise value basis plus an earn-out of up to $1 million if calendar-year profit targets are achieved. AUS is expected to deliver earnings before interest and tax of around $1.7 million for the 2011 financial year.

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