Austal to acquire aluminum NDT tech specialist ElectraWatch

MAY 2, 2018 — Austal (ASX: ASB) reports that it has reached an agreement to buy 100% of ElectraWatch Inc., a U.S.-based aluminum non-destructive testing technology company, for an all cash consideration of US$6.75 million, with no net debt.

ElectraWatch has developed and deployed a unique portable system for the nondestructive testing of aluminum used in demanding environments. in this case predominantly for aluminum ships.

The primary customer for the technology to date has been the United States Navy both directly and through other major prime contractors and the system forms part of a monitoring environment for a variety of vessels.

ElectraWatch is expected to have a CY18 revenue of US$2-3 million and is expected to continue to expand rapidly and Austal expects the acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in CY18 and beyond.

Austal is the world's largest aluminum shipbuilder with both defense and commercial operations. ElectraWatch will make a valuable contribution to the aluminum shipbuilding knowledge and experience base of the company and will grow the support and services business which is a key focus both in the USA and more broadly.

ElectraWatch will continue to operate under its own brand inside the Service and Support business of Austal USA.

Commenting on the acquisition, Austal's Chief Executive Officer, David Singleton said: "The acquisition reflects Austal's commitment to having the most advanced technology utilized in every element of our shipbuilding enterprise. Combining ElectraWatch's patented technology with Austal's advanced ship design, manufacturing and sustainment expertise will reinforce the company's position as the industry leader in advanced aluminum shipbuilding."

"In particular," he added, "this acquisition will effectively support and increase our range of services for the shipbuilding and sustainment requirements of our key customer, the United States Navy."

ElectraWatch engineers replicate laboratory testing utilizing an electrochemical methodology within a portable Degree of Sensitisation (DoS) Probe that yields a fast, accurate measured result without removing test samples from a ship and sending them to a laboratory for testing.

The company is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, and supports multiple shipbuilders, maintenance providers and the U.S.Navy across a broad range of military ships currently deployed in the U.S. Navy fleet.

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