MBH Corporation plc (MBH), a diversified investment holding company, continues their acquisition drive with their ninth acquisition of 2020, and their first in Australia.  The acquisition of Cobul Constructions boosts MBH’s already considerable construction vertical as well as expanding their geographical reach and further growing the pro-forma revenues of the MBH group companies to GBP 98m for the financial year 2020.

MBH’s portfolio is growing yet further with the 100% acquisition of leading specialist commercial builder, Cobul Constructions.  Cobul Constructions primarily partners with the Australian Government and private sectors and has grown to become an industry leader in Australia with an impressive client list, that includes National Government, National Library of Australia and the Canberra Theater Centre. With this acquisition, Cobul Constructions becomes the sixth company within MBH’s growing construction vertical.

Over the past few years, Cobul Constructions has boasted an average yearly turnover of approximately AUD11.6m and in the 12 months to 30 September 2020, its unaudited EBIT was AUD2.7m.  With this latest acquisition the pro-forma revenues of MBH grow to GBP98m in the financial year 2020.  The estimated earnings per share growth as a result of this acquisition is approximately 18%.

Cobul Construction is the latest example of MBH’s agglomeration strategy as another stable  business having been established nearly 20 years ago in Canberra, where the majority of its business is still based. The company is well recognised for its work on highly complex construction projects as well as the exacting quality of their finished product. As such they are highly sought after and despite the inevitable impact of Covid-19 on their sector have already secured projects worth AUD9.6m for 2021.

Aaron King, a Certified Financial analyst, will become Chairman of Cobul Constructions. King, who is Melbourne based, has considerable experience of driving growth through business development and financial management. He will work alongside Vincent Luicio Cossetto and Mark Edward Bulley, the two founders of Cobul Construction.

The total consideration for the acquisition of Cobul Constructions is approximately GBP5m to GBP 8m of which will be settled by way of a listed bond in accordance with the MBH bond programme with the following terms:

  • 5-year maturity with principal payable at maturity; and
  • 5% coupon rate per annum payable semi-annually

MBH launched a medium-term bond programme in June that allows the group to finance acquisitions in line with its Agglomeration™strategy. A total bond value of EUR 50m was approved and the bond is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (Euronext Dublin) and in the Open Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.  Following the completion of the acquisition of Cobul construction, the remaining bond value available for future acquisitions is approximately EUR 25million.

Callum Laing, CEO, MBH Corporation plc said: “We’re delighted to see our construction vertical grow further with this latest acquisition.  Cobul Construction shares many of the attributes of the other construction companies within our portfolio and has been equally impressive in how they have navigated the huge challenges that 2020 has presented.  Their expertise in their market will add further value to this important part of our growing business and we are looking forward to working alongside Aaron and the team as they have significant growth plans for the coming years.”

Aaron King, Director of Cobul Construction, commented: “I am excited to be joining MBH as the Principal for their first Australian company, Cobul Constructions. The company has a rich twenty-years history in exceptionally high quality commercial buildings and becoming part of MBH will allow us to benefit from the resources of a larger company by being able to tender for larger projects and acquire other commercial construction companies and to increase market share.”