In September 2010, Anchorage acquired Boral Formwork & Scaffolding Pty Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boral Limited, formerly part of the Boral Construction Related Division. Anchorage rebranded the business to Acrow following the acquisition. The transaction was a proprietary deal, sourced by direct approach to Boral.
Acrow operates a national branch network offering scaffolding and formwork solutions from 7 locations to the residential, commercial and civil construction sectors. Its brands include the industry standard "Acrow" brand in formwork and "Cuplock" in scaffolding. Acrow’s scaffolding operations supplies builders and building contractors with a height access solution. Acrow’s formwork operations ‘dry hire’ formwork equipment that forms the temporary mould to support concrete structures in their construction as well as falsework equipment that is used to support suspended horizontal structures during their construction.
Acrow represented a classic orphan investment for Anchorage, where the business was non-core to its former parent and was not performing to its full potential. Following completion of decoupling from the broader Boral group and rebranding to the recognised Acrow brand, the business was materially impacted by extremely difficult trading conditions. Anchorage implemented a second turnaround program in 2013, which included the appointment of a new CEO and CFO and further organisational redesign. Key aspects of the second turnaround program included:
Strategically investing capital expenditure, targeting the high margin formwork segment
Refocussing the scaffold strategy towards ‘dry hire’ and less labour-intensive work, improving margins and reducing labour management risk
Closure of unprofitable branches and restructuring the branch network
Building sales and business development capability, targeting attractive segments
Generating further efficiencies through improving project management capabilities, enhancing yard operations, regionalising administration processes and improving cash conversion and working capital management
The impact of the refreshed turnaround program was evident in the quality and results of the business. After realising an operating EBITDA loss in FY2013, the second turnaround was implemented, subsequent to which EBITDA and margin grew each year. At the time of exit, Acrow is positioned to leverage the underlying improvements made to the business under Anchorage’s ownership and be profitable in all market conditions.
Anchorage achieved a successful sale to publicly listed NMG Corporation Limited (subsequently renamed Acrow Formwork and Construction Services Limited) in March 2018. The public entity commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange in April 2018.