Skilled seals $75m deal

Labour hire company Skilled has increased its exposure to the oil and gas sector with a $75 million acquisition.

Labour hire company Skilled has increased its exposure to the oil and gas sector with a $75 million acquisition.

ASX-listed Skilled has reached a deal with private company Broadsword Marine Contractors to buy its business, which supplies equipment and boats to offshore oil and gas companies. Skilled will pay $48.8 million now, and a further $26.7 million over the next three years, for a total purchase price of $75.5 million.

The acquisition is tipped to deliver as much as $17 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the 2014 financial year.

Broadsword is based in Darwin, but also has offices in the West Australian town of Exmouth and Queensland port of Hays Point.

The deal was popular with investors, who pushed the Skilled share price up by almost 10 per cent to $2.39.

Skilled chief executive Mick McMahon said the acquisition delivered several benefits.

"This is a carefully targeted and financially compelling acquisition that extends our capability, geographical reach and exposure to oil and gas, while enabling an extension of service to our clients," he said.

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