Babcock International Group has signed a sales and purchase agreement to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Australia’s Naval Ship Management (NSM) joint venture for $42.8m (A$60m).

The agreement was signed with its long-term joint venture partner.

The deal is subject to customary approvals.

In 2012, this JV was formed to maintain the ANZAC-class frigates of the Royal Australian Navy.

Since its establishment, the business has become a strategic maritime sustainment partner by not only supporting the Anzac class under the Warship Asset Management Agreement but also the two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHD) and 12 LHD Landing Craft.

NSM currently employs around 300 people.

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The deal will enable Babcock to boost its support to the Australian Defence Force’s maritime capability besides providing further capacity for the existing and future maritime programmes.

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “We’re very proud of the success of NSM since its formation nearly a decade ago. We look forward to continuing to provide innovative and highly skilled support to the Australian Defence Force as we further develop our presence in this important market.”

NSM posted a revenue of $181m (A$254m) for the year ended 31 March 2021. Babcock’s equity represented 50% of NSM’s results.

In December 2021, Babcock International was chosen as the preferred tenderer for upgrading and sustaining the Defence High Frequency Communication System to support the armed forces in Australia over the next decade, with a further four extension options, with each being of two years.

During the same month, Babcock announced the completion of its new advanced assembly hall at its Rosyth site in Scotland.

Known as ‘The Venturer Building’, the facility will initially be used for assembly of the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigates.