Waco International is founded and lists on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The Group develops into an international conglomerate with operations in South Africa and abroad.
New management is appointed to drive the optimisation of financial and operational performance. Aspects of the strategy include diversifying the customer mix, expanding into new geographies and extending products and services into adjacent fields.
The successful relocatable modular buildings business in Australia and New Zealand, Ausco, is sold. This frees up the balance sheet and enables Waco International to refocus on growth. Initiatives and targets are identified from branch level throughout the organisation, underpinned by the Alchemy of Growth and Continuous Improvement ethos which promotes the constant pursuit of excellence.
The Group is acquired by a private equity consortium led by Ethos Private Equity and delisted. It restructures its portfolio in the early 2000s to focus on the primary businesses of forming, shoring and scaffolding, and relocatable modular buildings.
Waco International is acquired by a new consortium of private equity shareholders based in Hong Kong and London. The global financial crisis, combined with excessive gearing, hinders its ability to fund growth.
The ownership structure changes again when a consortium of equity shareholders (led by Ethos Private Equity, RMB Ventures, Standard Bank and management shareholders) acquires Waco International. The new shareholders continue to invest in the business, supporting the growth agenda.
|2013 – 2017
Waco International invests over R1.5 billion in the business to grow its hire fleet; fund acquisitions of United Scaffolding and SkyJacks and bolt-on acquisitions for Sanitech, Abacus and other growth initiatives; and to strengthen profitability by continuously improving efficiencies. The investment activity is fundamental to the Group’s well-executed optimisation and expansion strategy, which has, over the five-year period, returned the international operations to acceptable levels of profitability, expanded operations into sub-Saharan Africa and produced a diverse and defensive portfolio of businesses able to outperform the market and achieve sound financial returns. The Group continues to build shareholder value, even as operating conditions in some of its markets become more challenging.