Waco International was founded and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Group developed into an international conglomerate with operations both in South Africa and abroad.
The Group was acquired by a private equity consortium led by Ethos Private Equity and de-listed. The Group restructured its portfolio in the early 2000s to focus on the primary businesses of forming, shoring and scaffolding and relocatable modular buildings.
New management was appointed to drive the optimisation of the Group’s financial and operational performance. Aspects of the strategy included diversifying the customer mix, expansion into new geographies and extending products and services into adjacent fields. Compound adjusted EBITDA growth of 23% for the period 2000 to 2005 was achieved.
Waco International was acquired by private equity shareholders based in Hong Kong and London. The Group was affected by the global financial crisis which, combined with excessive gearing, hindered its ability to fund growth.
The Group sold its very successful relocatable modular buildings business in Australia and New Zealand, Ausco, in a substantial transaction. This freed up the balance sheet and enabled Waco International to refocus on growth.
The Group’s ownership structure changed when a consortium of equity shareholders, led by Ethos Private Equity, RMB Ventures, Standard Bank and management shareholders, acquired Waco International. The new shareholders continued to invest in the business, supporting the growth agenda.
Waco International remains committed to its growth strategy. The substantial capital investment of over R500 million into the hire fleet over the past three years has yielded significant returns delivering compound annual growth in adjusted EBITDA of 47% from July 2011 to the year ended June 2014.