Costain purchases speed camera company for £17m

Oliver Gill
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Costain is working with Swedish construction company Skanska to deliver the Paddington Crossrail (Source: Getty)

Crossrail engineer Costain has acquired transport technology provider Simulation Systems Limited (SSL) in a deal worth £17m, it was announced today.

"This transaction will further broaden our ability to deliver technology-based solutions to meet the increasingly complex requirements of our major blue chip customers in energy, water and transportation," said Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie.

The Maidenhead-based company revealed that it funded the deal using current cash reserves, which totalled £147m at the end of 2015.

In a trading update last week, Costain revealed a record order book totalling £3.9bn, five per cent higher than 12 months ago.

The purchase, which was equivalent to eight and a half times’ SSL’s earnings, also netted managing director Louis Thompson a cash windfall. Thompson, who has worked at the firm for almost 30 years, received £13.9m of the proceeds.

Costain confirmed that Thompson would continue in his role.

Founded in 1979, Bristol-based SSL specialises in the development of traffic monitoring technology such as speed cameras and tunnel control systems. Current customers include Transport for London, the Highways Agency and national and local governments.

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