Capgemini closes in on A/NZ expansion as Empired exits the ASX

Capgemini closes in on A/NZ expansion as Empired exits the ASX

The scheme of arrangement for Empired's A$233 million acquisition by Capgemini is now legally effective.

Russell Baskerville (Empired)

Russell Baskerville (Empired)

Credit: Empired

Empired has suspended trade on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in a move that brings it and its New Zealand business Intergen yet another step closer to calling Capgemini home. 

The company told shareholders on 2 November that the scheme of arrangement for its A$233 million acquisition by the French global systems integrator was now legally effective, and that it would apply to have its shares suspended from trading on the ASX.

It should be noted that the scheme itself is not expected to be implemented until 16 November 2021.

Empired managing director and CEO Russell Baskerville said the latest development in the acquisition process was a defining moment in the company’s history. 

“From humble beginnings in a small blue warehouse in Perth, Empired has grown into an Australian listed company employing more than 1100 people across three countries and working with some of the largest and most respected organisations in the world,” Baskerville said. 

“I would like to sincerely thank all of our stakeholders for your loyalty, commitment and support over many years. Together we have built one of the largest and most respected digital services companies across Australia and New Zealand.

“Capgemini have conducted themselves with the highest level of integrity and professionalism throughout the transaction and I, along with the entire Empired team, are excited by the opportunities they will bring,” he added.

Eurox Hartleys and Clayton Utz were advisors in the transaction with the scheme.

The Perth-based systems integrator entered into an agreement to be acquired by Capgemini for A$1.35 per share, coming to a total of A$233 million, in July.

While headquartered in Western Australia, Empired has a substantial presence up and down the country's east coast and in New Zealand, where it claims offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, thanks to local player Intergen, which it acquired in 2014

The Empired acquisition would see Capgemini further strengthen its presence in Australia and New Zealand, according to its A/NZ managing director Kaylene O’Brien.

In an interview with ARN earlier this year, Baskerville spoke about how the company’s new operating systems, leadership structure and go-to-market model were shaping up Empired for significant growth in the year ahead. 

“With go-to-market and services, it was really clear to me that we had to build a position in the market, and be clear about what we stood for,” Baskerville told ARN.

“We’ve spent a lot of time looking at where we really want to play in this market and how those services align to industry trends, and I think some of that comes back to a refreshed branding.

“There’s been a lot of work done to build those processes and that model to make sure it’s correct.”

During FY21, Empired posted revenue of A$186.1 million, a rise of 12.4 per cent from the last financial year, and pre-tax earnings (EBITDA) of A$22.6 million, more than double that of 2020. 

In terms of net profit after tax (NPAT), Empired posted A$10.5 million, an increase of 71 per cent year-to-year and a departure from its 2019 loss. 

New Zealand sales were up by 27 per cent year-on-year, raking in an annual revenue of over A$72 million with A$45.16 coming from services revenue and A$27.58 million in operations revenue.

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