The UAE's Transguard Group will ramp up its mergers and acquisition (M&A) strategy by completing two takeovers before the end of 2018, managing director Greg Ward told sister publication Construction Week.
The service company, prominent in the local facility management (FM) sector, is “interested” in acquiring firms that can add “cutting-edge technology” to the business, Ward said, adding that he could not disclose details of the firms under consideration due to commercial sensitivity concerns.
He said Transgaurd will embark on an M&A spree that could see it buy up to six companies between now and the end of 2019, as the company looks to solidify its position in the market. This comes after the business generated record revenues of $626m (AED2.3bn) and saw its profits rise by 12% in 2017.
“Transguard will continue to grow and support the region; we [already] support all the critical main infrastructures in the region, including the airport,” Ward said, responding to his strategy for the UAE.
“We are involved in quite a few M&A opportunities at the moment, which I can't speak about, but will be coming to light soon. So our strategy is to [complete] more M&As [and] to bring technology into FM control rooms.
“There is a lot in the FM sector, maybe on different workstreams, such as pest control or rope access; there are pieces around that kind of acquisition, but the bigger piece is around security. The ones I am really interested in [acquiring] are the ones that are providing cutting-edge technology – that's where we need to be. There will be at least two [takeovers] in 2018 and probably three or four next year.”
Transguard, a subsidiary of Emirates Group, is one of the largest employers in the UAE boasting a workforce of more than 60,000 people. In a bid to strengthen its technological capabilities, it entered a strategic partnership with software multinational SAP in October to transform the country's $1bn (AED3.67bn) job outsourcing market. This partnership is part of Transguard's wider strategy to incorporate technology into its core business functions – cash services, security, integrated FM, and manpower – to sectors such as construction, aviation, logistics, and hospitality.