AMEY MOVED further away from pure construction last week with a £145M deal to buy support services specialist Comax.
Comax was originally part of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Evaluation & Research Agency and moved into the private sector two years ago after a management buyout.
Amey is paying £86M for Comax's share capital, and is taking on Comax's £59M net debt. Comax had a turnover of £211M in the last financial year and made a profit of £12.1M. DERA remains its largest client, but the client list has grown to around a hundred.
Comax's services include building maintenance, secure printing, procurement and voice and data network management. It specialises
in operating a very secure environment, as befits its MoD origins. It runs secure computer and communications networks, and is responsible for security of the MoD's web site - a key target for hackers but, it claims, yet to be broken into.
(see Analysis, page 10)