ÅF said the strategic move was in line with its international expansion in the energy sector, and the acquisition reinforced its market positions in Europe, the Baltic region, Russia, south east Asia and south Asia. Colenco has been involved in a number of hydro power and dam projects, such as Ilisu in Turkey, Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy in Lao PDR, Son La in Vietnam, Francisco Morazan in Honduras, and many refurbishment schemes internationally.

It added that Colenco’s operations should be consolidated into the group from the third quarter, ending September. The purchase is forecast to have a positive contribution to earnings per share before the end of 2007.

Colenco’s sales for 2006 were equivalent to almost US$40M with an earnings margin of 7.4%, ÅF said in a statement. Revenues for the first half of 2007 were US$23M with a 10.7% earnings margin, it added. The orderbook stands at US$120M, it has 250 staff mostly based in Switzerland, where it is headquartered in Baden.

The buyer said that Colenco’s balance sheet includes cash and cash equivalents of US$11.6M, and also buildings valued at approximately US$14.5M. Intangibles were estimated at nearly US$28M and consist mostly of goodwill.

The Swiss firm was spun-off from local power company Atel six years ago.