Former apprentice buys engineering company

A former apprentice at Stevenson Engineering and now the managing director at Integrated Maintenance Group (IMG), Bruce Bonner, has come full circle by announcing IMG's acquisition of the Stevenson Group's engineering division. 

It's a case of the apprentice liking the company so much and buying it.

IMG and Stevenson Group said they were excited to release news of the acquisition of the Auckland-based engineering division – Stevenson Engineering – because the amalgamation creates a company with significant depth in New Zealand's heavy engineering sector.

The move is seen by both companies as the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the two.

IMG's Bruce Bonner said that the Stevenson Group now becomes an anchor client of IMG, which will continue to maintain and service the Stevenson Group's mining, quarrying and concrete heavy equipment – a function previously fulfilled by Stevenson Engineering.

"Stevenson Group wanted to divest of non-core business functions like its engineering services division, and we are in active growth and diversification mode. I see this as combining two good companies to make one great company.

"IMG has earned a reputation for innovative thinking and quality work for our maintenance services to the steel sector. We have since diversified into the forestry industry, and now the acquisition of Stevenson Engineering launches us into the mining and aggregates sector."

Bruce said that beyond the fact that the acquisition of Stevenson Engineering increases the size of IMG by more than 30 percent almost overnight – and will require some integration – the company expects minimal disruption. 

"Rather than shedding jobs, we're actually in hiring mode for people with the right skills because this acquisition makes us a significant player in New Zealand's engineering services space – having already quadrupled in size since 2008," he said.

"While the former Stevenson Engineering was there primarily to service its parent mining company, IMG is a fully independent operation that is now in a position to offer all companies in the mining, forestry, steel and aggregates sectors the best of Stevenson's engineering expertise and experience, without actually being Stevenson.

"The acquisition also expands on our ability to offer a significant, but independent heavy engineering service to companies that need help maintaining their earthmoving and excavation fleets. It's a service that complements our fabrication and welding services," Bruce said.

The coming together of two Kiwi success stories is a win/win for both IMG and Stevenson Group because it enables both organisations to future-proof their operations, shed unnecessary costs and focus on growth.

"This is about securing jobs and building a bright future for our company and our staff by offering the market a truly independent, expert and well-resourced alternative," Bruce said.