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Sale of Employment National businesses.

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18 November 2002 42/2002

Sale of Employment National Businesses Agreements have been signed with four purchasers for the sale of a number of Employment National’s businesses, the Minister for Finance and Administration, Senator Nick Minchin announced today.


This follows the announcement in May of the Government’s decision to sell the marketable parts of EN and wind-up the remainder of the loss-making company.


“EN will earn several million dollars in proceeds and make large cost savings from the sale.  Following wind-up, the Commonwealth will no longer be exposed to the losses that EN has incurred in recent years,” Senator Minchin said.

“These sale agreements will mean that EN Commonwealth will earn several million dollars in proceeds and will reduce expected losses for the remainder of the company’s operation while no longer being exposed to the losses that EN has incurred in recent years,” Senator Minchin said.


“I congratulate EN’s Board, management and staff for implementing a complex but successful sale process in a very tight timeframe.”


Once completed, the sale will see the transfer of EN’s Intensive Assistance, OzJobs and Harvest Services businesses as well as a significant part of its New Apprenticeships business.  In addition, EN has entered into an agreement with one purchaser that may see a large number of EN’s Job Matching sites transfer to new ownership, subject to the outcome of the next Job Network tender process.


EN continues to explore options for the sale of other parts of its operations.


“Sale agreements have been signed with Jobfind Centres Australia Pty Ltd (Intensive Assistance and Job Matching in southern Western Australia), IMP Group (Australia) Pty Ltd (Oz Jobs and Harvest Services), MEGT (Australia) Ltd (New Apprenticeships), and Australian Business Limited (New Apprenticeships).  These are all established providers in the recruitment industry,” Senator Minchin said.


Total sale proceeds depend on outcomes of the next Job Network tenders and will therefore not be settled until tender outcomes are announced in March-April 2003.  Nonetheless, EN expects total proceeds will amount to several million dollars and there will also be significant cost savings to its future operations. 


Proceeds and savings will be retained by the company and will lessen the amount of equity support required by EN prior to its winding-up from 30 June 2003.  EN will continue to meet its obligations under its remaining Job Network and New Apprenticeships contracts through to wind-up.


“I am also pleased that purchasers have expressed a strong interest in taking on many EN staff after transfer of ownership.  EN staff have responded well since the Government’s announcement about the company’s future and have demonstrated their value to new owners,” Senator Minchin said.


New owners will take over divested operations over the coming months, subject to meeting final legal and financial requirements.


Senator Minchin also acknowledged the important contribution to the sale process of the Department of Finance and Administration and sale advisers Ernst and Young Corporate Finance, Clayton Utz and Sparke Helmore.



Media contacts:

David Wawn  Minister’s office (02) 6277 7400 (0409) 866 462

Robin Sandell Employment National (02) 9200 6984 (0409) 846 125