NCS ramps up expansion in Australia with AU$290m Arq Group purchase

NCS has announced the acquisition of Arq Group for AU$290 million, as the Singaporean company, which is a Singtel subsidiary, continues its expansion into Australia.

Arq Group, formerly Melbourne IT, was formed after it was sold for $35 million in February 2020, alongside the company’s Enterprise Services Division to an entity owned by Quadrant Private Equity and three members of the Enterprise Services Division management team, including its current Arq Group CEO Tristan Sternson.

Under the acquisition plans, Arq will be bundled into NCS’ digital services arm, Next, which was set up internally two years ago to focus on digital, cloud, and platform services. Arq will continue to operate in its existing markets of Australia and New Zealand, but will also see its services expanded into Asia as a result of the acquisition.

Arq’s 560-person team will bring NCS’ existing headcount in Australia to 1,900, NCS added.

This latest purchase by NCS follows the company’s most recent acquisition of The Dialog Group earlier this month. The deal, worth AU$239 million, was touted by the company as another boost to its service portfolio.

Prior to this, NCS had also acquired cloud service provider Riley, and a majority stake in cloud consultancy firm Eighty20 Solutions.

“This latest acquisition completes a jigsaw of strategic investments in Australia, ramping up our presence in a market that is critical to our regional expansion,” NCS CEO Ng Kuo Pin said.

“Combined with Dialog’s core IT capabilities and extensive reach across eight Australian cities, Arq brings on board the right digital competencies that help create a highly compelling end-to-end digital transformation value proposition.

“Taken together, our four investments to date have given us the necessary scale, capabilities and credibility to compete as a regional digital powerhouse as we help governments and enterprises in Singapore and Australia achieve their digital transformation goals.”

Following relevant regulatory approval, the acquisition of Arq Group is expected to be completed by May.

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