Forge looks to round out with bolt-ons

With the downturn in resources spending gathering pace, mid-size operator Forge Group is moving to take advantage of the cycle by becoming a consolidator.

With the downturn in resources spending gathering pace, mid-size operator Forge Group is moving to take advantage of the cycle by becoming a consolidator.

Run by David Simpson, a former senior executive with UGL, Forge is bedding down one recent purchase and is on the prowl for more.

"We're looking for one or two bolt-ons, and then something bigger," Mr Simpson said. "There are good consolidation opportunities."

From its base in Western Australia, Forge plans to boost its presence on the east coast, as well as extend in the US, where it recently bought Taggart Global, which operates in the power sector.

In particular, Forge is keen to take advantage of its strong balance sheet to snare a larger player with weaker finances, so it can bulk up more quickly.

Forge also looks to organic expansion in areas adjacent to its existing operations, such as power transmission, water, coal seam gas and government-related work.

This in part is aimed at building up the maintenance side of the business, which would lift recurring revenue streams and help offset the lumpy one-off projects on the engineering side of the business.

In the year to June, Forge's pre-tax profit of $90.1 million came on revenue of $1.05 billion.

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