Sydney-based AM Group joins market leader Assa Abloy

05 March 2020 Consultancy.com.au

Australia’s AM Group has been acquired by Sweden-based Assa Abloy, the world’s biggest lock and security doors maker, in a deal advised on by dealmakers from PwC, Pitcher Partners, Allen & Overy and Hall & Wilcox.

Established in 1994 following the merger between Swedish firm Assa and Finnish firm Abloy, Assa Abloy today has around 50,0000 employees working across operations in over 70 countries. The company specialises in keys, locks, doors, gates, entrance automation, mobile and bio-metric identity verification and other safety services. 

According to market analysts, Assa Abloy’s is the globe’s largest player in its segment, ahead of the likes of Allegion (Republic of Ireland), Stanley Black & Decker (United States), Hager (United States) and Hörmann (Germany). Alongside organic growth, much of Assa Abloy’s expansion has come on the back of a rampant buy-and-build strategy, with over 200 acquisitions closed since founding. 

Within a month of acquiring Biosite in the United Kingdom, a solutions provider of biometric access control to the UK construction industry with 140 employees, the Swedes have now closed a deal in Australia.

Sydney-based AM Group joins market leader Assa Abloy

The addition of AM Group – announced in November 2019 and closed this week – adds around $120 million (€72 million) to Assa Abloy’s books and significantly bolsters its footprint down under. The deal complements the acquisition of Melbourne-based Placard, Australia's largest secure card manufacturer, which was announced in September last year and is set to add 170 employees to Assa Abloy’s headcount. 

AM Group

AM Group was founded in Australia in 1972, then named Monsoon Industries. Today, the company specialises in entrance automation products and technologies (e.g. rolling steel doors and bi-fold doors), and has 425 employees working across eight manufacturing businesses and its headquarter in Sydney. 

Having expanded internationally over two decades ago, AM Group also has an international presence. The company entered the North American market in 1996 and has acquired several UK businesses since 2004, including Dover Roller Shutters, Industrial Door Engineering in 2009 and Nassau Industrial Doors in 2014. 

During the deal, the Sydney-based company was advised on by Pitcher Partners, from the initial stages of the deal formation right through until completion and beyond. “The transaction involved a complex restructure, cross border entities and regulatory approval from the ACCC,” explained Rob Dando, a partner in the corporate finance arm of Pitcher Partners. Legal support was provided by Hall & Wilcox.

Meanwhile, the Swedes were advised on by M&A consultants from Big Four firm PwC, and lawyers from ‘magic circle’ player Allen & Overy.

“I welcome this complementary addition to our business, specialising in innovative entrance automation.”
– Nico Delvaux, CEO of Assa Abloy
 

Growth outlook

Looking into 2020, Assa Abloy’s CEO Nico Delvaux showed no signs of slowing down dealmaking activity, as the firm continues to drive consolidation in a fragmented market globally. “Acquisitions will be a main growth driver once we have consolidated agta record and the AM Group,” he said. 

The bolt-on of Switzerland-headquartered agta record was one of the largest in Assa Abloy’s history – the move added some 2,600 employees and €374 million ($628 million) to its ranks. Announced in March 2019, the deal is currently being reviewed by Europe’s antitrust authority, and with phase 1 conditional clearance now received last month, closing is expected in the second half of 2020. 

In a recent press conference, Delvaux added that Assa Abloy is starting to feel the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak, with organic growth slowing and margins squeezed due to unfavourable supply chains, particularly due to the conditions in China. However, the firm is still sticking to its plan of 5% to 6% growth in 2020 driven by acquisitions, against the 3% booked last year.


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