During the 16 years from commencement of operations in 1989 through to 2005 the business grew from a single niche product line in diesel engine turbochargers and components, to encompass comprehensive large diesel engineering and commercial equipment manufacture. The period saw continued diversification of products and services, expansion into new industry sectors – particularly Defence, Rail and Resources, a number of small acquisitions, new company formations, and growth from one employee to 150 employees at four sites. Another important aspect of the efforts during the period was the development of strong long term business partnerships and relationships.
Three businesses were successfully taken over in 2006; Hedemora Diesel (Sweden), Asset Kinetics and Convair Engineering. Hedemora Diesel (Sweden) is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the Hedemora diesel engine range - most recently and notably those providing power generation onboard Australia’s Collins Class submarines. Asset Kinetics was a specialist road transport solutions provider for project freight, dangerous goods, transportable housing and mine site logistics. Convair Engineering, a world-class dry bulk transport tanker manufacturer, expanded its Melbourne-based production capabilities during the year and achieved a world first with the introduction of the B-double aluminium bulk pneumatic tanker, co-designed with German partner Feldbinder. While these businesses are excellent operations in their own right, their amalgamation into the Group significantly enhanced our overall service offering. This empowers the Group to harness individual business capabilities and leverage them to provide integrated, innovative solutions to our customers.
2007 entailed the most dramatic and exciting period of growth to date when the company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 14 December 2006, seeking capital to invest in an array of exciting business opportunities. As a result of the successful listing a number of very important strategic acquisitions were planned, and further investments in business infrastructure and people were made.
The conclusion of those acquisitions saw the Group services offering extended to include railroad operations, rolling stock manufacture and maintenance, power generation and alternate energy. We also enhanced our logistics services to encompass rail transportation, and engage in freight forwarding and port services through the acquisition of FCD Container Logistics. Each of the new companies met our acquisition criteria of high barriers to entry, stable high recurring earnings, and a history of strong long-term growth.
South Spur Rail Services joined the group in May 2007, bringing with it the South Spur and Southern & Silverton railroad operations, specialist rail labour hire entity Momentum Rail, restaurant train operator Spirit of the West and rail training and accreditation entity Centre for Excellence in Rail Training. The introduction of Perth-based Gemco Rail to the Group later that year fast-tracked the establishment of a Rolling Stock Services division by several years.
The company’s focus on wagons, wheelsets and bogies is unique and possibly has no equivalent within Australia. Gemco Rail is actively engaged with every major rail operator in the country and is recognised as a leader in their market niche.
In the latter part of the decade the Group’s focus on consolidating core businesses lead to divestment of rail and logistics operations with the sale of South Spur and Coote Logistics businesses. In addition, a shift in major shareholding in 2010 brought financial stability and a change in Board and management structure. These events cleared the way for Engenco Limited to concentrate on integration and real growth opportunities in the Drivetrain, Convair, CERT, Momentum and Gemco business units which now form the Group.