Transfield Defence Systems / Tenix Defence Systems
In 2000 the Tenix Group was Australia's largest defence and technology contractor, with 5,000 employees and annual earnings of about $A1.2 billion. Operating in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Philippines and the United States, Tenix had comprehensive skills and facilities, and close, mature links with international technology leaders. Subsidiaries included Tenix Defence Systems (undertaking major defence contracts for the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force), and Tenix Industries, the Group's commercial arm, with subsidiaries including Enetech, which provided engineering and services to utilities and communications companies
Tenix’s roots go back to 1956, when two Italian-born engineers, Carlo Salteri and Franco Belgiorno-Nettis, founded Transfield. The two went on to build one of Australia's most successful construction companies. The company's growth and diversification resulted from hard work and dedication, aided by a booming Australian economy. From a business involving mostly power and gas pipelines, the company expanded to building bridges, manufacturing aircraft, construction and fabrication.
In 1987, the company diversified into defence at the initiative of then Joint Managing Director, Paul Salteri. This initiative resulted in the purchase of a company known as AMEC, which had successfully bid for the Naval Dockyard at Williamstown, Victoria. The company re-established a naval shipbuilding capability in Australia which culminated in the award of the ANZAC Ship Project contract, for 10 ANZAC-class frigates.
The Australian Marine Engineering Corporation [AMEC] was formed from a consortium including Eglo Engineering, Australian Shipbuilding Industries (ASI), and International Combustion Australia (ICAL). A few days after AMEC acquired the dockyard, Transfield acquired Eglo. In February 1988, Transfield attempted to takeover ASI, but in a countermove, ASI was acquired by ICAL. By August 1988, Transfield had acquired ICAL and, therefore, completely owned Williamstown. On 9 January 1989, the company name changed to Australian Marine Engineering Consolidated Limited (AMECON). Since then, internal Company restructuring led to a number of name changes. The most recent was Transfield Defence Systems, which reflected the Company’s broader defence capabilities in addition to its core business of shipbuilding.
In 1997, the Transfield Group split. The Belgiorno-Nettis family held onto Transfield’s infrastructure business while the Salteri family retained the defence interests. Tenix Pty Limited was established to hold the defence interests.
The Tenix Group then began a systematic process of diversification with the acquisition of Hawker de Havilland (an aerostructures manufacturer) in 1998 and Enetech in 1999. Enetech was a leading engineering and maintenance contractor with capabilities and experience servicing the needs of electricity, gas and water asset owners. Enetech was renamed Tenix Alliance Pty Ltd in July 2001. Tenix's capabilities were subsequently boosted by the acquisition of ESI's business assets, Powerco's New Zealand and Queensland field services businesses and Shaw Group Australia. In early 2007, Carlo Salteri AC stepped down as Chairman of the Group. He was succeeded by his son - the former Group Manager, Paul Salteri. Later in 2007 Tenix acquired Western Australian-based power services companies, Atomic Power, C&S Powerlines and Bremner Holdings followed by the acquisition of leading New Zealand mechanical engineering company, Robt Stone.
In January 2008 Tenix agreed the sale of Tenix Defence to BAE Systems Australia Limited; the sale was completed in June 2008. Tenix also divested its 50 per cent ownership of RLM Holdings to Lockheed Martin in August 2008. In September 2008 Tenix acquired a majority stake in Duncan Solutions, a global leader in on-street parking solutions. In April 2009, Tenix appointed former Lend Lease executive Ross Taylor as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. In September 2010, Tenix announced the acquisition of SDR Australia, a Western Australian-based mechanical engineering business servicing the resources and heavy industrial sectors.
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