The ARA Group has a strong history of purchasing financially troubled businesses out of Voluntary Administration. The key aspect of a successful purchase and a quick turnaround of the business is the ability to act extremely quickly. On Monday, the 16th of October, we began a review of the ThermalAIR heating and cooling business in Orange, New South Wales.ThermalAIR is a 35 year old company in Central New South Wales with an excellent local reputation. They were purchased two and a half years ago and the new owner did a very good job growing the business profitably. However, with growth comes the need for capital. Unfortunately, the business ran out of cash to finance its growth, resulting in the need to put the business into Voluntary Administration.
Phil Harding, ARA Mechanical Managing Director, and Ed Federman, ARA Group Managing Director, analysed the business and concluded that this was an excellent business that needed working capital financing. During the week of 16 October, with the help of Allison McCann, ARA Group Chief Financial Officer, due diligence was completed and a final agreement was negotiated with the Administrator. On Friday, 20 October, the Sale Agreement was signed, money was paid for the assets purchased and ThermalAIR was a part of the ARA Group.
This acquisition was an extraordinary example of the ability of ARA to move quickly to preserve a good business. In five working days, the business was reviewed and a transaction was completed. The best part of this transaction was the 20 jobs that were maintained in Central New South Wales. All the employees of ThermalAIR continued with ARA and 100% of each employee’s entitlements were carried forward. All employees are now back at work and very busy completing projects and providing service for our customers.
During the past eleven years, ARA has completed five acquisitions of financially challenged businesses. These acquisitions have resulted in saving approximately 250 jobs and ensuring that all entitlements were preserved for the employees coming to work with ARA. We are very proud of the work we have done with these businesses and their employees. Helping to fix and maintain good businesses and the corresponding employment is a part of the ARA culture.