Singapore-based water treatment company De.mem Ltd has signed a binding purchase agreement to acquire Queensland, Australia-headquartered Akwa-Worx.

Established in 2002, Akwa-Worx is a water and wastewater treatment original equipment manufacturer (OEM) focused on the design and construction of packaged systems for the Australasian market, including the mining sector. Akwa-Worx’s products include ultrafiltration (UF) reverse osmosis (RO) based systems, membrane bioreactors (MBRs), bioreactors and chemical dosing systems.

De.mem says that the acquisition will strengthen its position in the market for de-centralised water treatment in the Asia-Pacific region and provide opportunities for cross-selling technology and an additional route to market for its hollow fibre nanofiltration (NF) membrane. Akwa-Worx also offers potential joint manufacturing initiatives and a platform for further expansion into key growth markets, including China.

Akwa-Worx reported revenue of approximately A$7 million for the 2017 financial year with normalised earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of approximatelyA$800 000.

De.mem will pay an initial A$1.5 million in cash and A$460 000 in shares for Akwa-Worx, with additional payments subject to certain revenue milestones being achieved.

“The acquisition of Akwa-Worx is a game changer for De.mem,” said De.mem CEO Andreas Kroell. “With an established client base and recurring revenues, the Akwa-Worx business provides a strong platform for growth in the Australian marketplace and beyond.”

Shane Ayre, managing director and founder of Akwa-Worx, will retain his role and become a member of the De.mem management team.

“We are delighted to conclude the transaction with De.mem and are committed to working with the board and management to deliver their strategic initiatives in the decentralised waste water treatment systems sector,” said Ayre. “De.mem’s innovative membrane technologies, such as the flagship low-pressure hollow fibre nanofiltration membrane, are a key differentiator in the market.”

The acquisition will be funded through De.mem’s existing cash reserves.

Akwa-Worx's water treatment facilities.
Akwa-Worx's water treatment facilities.