Construction

Murray & Roberts to close infrastructure, building businesses

South African contractor, which worked on the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, will complete all Middle East-based projects by December 2017, with no new projects being pursued

Bruce Paulmac at English Wikipedia

Murray & Roberts, the South Africa-based firm, has announced that it will be closing its infrastructure and building businesses as part of a strategic disposal of assets as it seeks to focus its attention on the global natural resources market, its chief executive has said.

Also included in the disposal of assets is Genrec, the company’s steel-making and engineering services group. Negotiations with prospective buyers for the businesses are at an advanced stage, the company confirmed.

“The decision to dispose of the Infrastructure & Building businesses, supports the Group’s long-term strategy to focus its business on the global natural resources markets, and follows an extended period of careful planning and consideration,” said Henry Laas, chief executive of Murray & Roberts Group.

“The proposed transaction is in the best interests of the long-term sustainability of both the Group and the Infrastructure & Building businesses.”

This transaction will exclude the Group’s investment in the Bombela Concession Company (BCC), Bombela Civil Joint Venture (BCJV) and Bombela Operating Company, Laas added.

Operations in the Middle East will also be excluded from the sale, with the priority being to complete current projects, the last of which is expected to be finished in December 2017. No new projects are being pursued, Laas said.

Moving forwards, the company will focus on three core sectors: underground mining; oil and gas; and power and water. The announcement came as the group announced its annual results for the year ended June 2016.

Revenue from continuing operations increased by 9% to $1.79 billion from $1.65 billion in 2015.

Murray & Roberts has been associated with some of the Middle East’s most iconic projects, including the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, which was its first awarded project in the emirate. It commenced operations in the Middle East in 1995.

By 2025, the group intends to be a leading multinational group that applies its project lifecycle capabilities to optimise fixed capital investment, it said in a statement. It intends to achieve this by focusing its expertise and capacity on selected oil and gas; metals and minerals; and the power and water market sectors.

“Growing our capability in specialist engineering, commissioning and asset support & maintenance services in these market sectors, should yield higher margins and carry lower risk than services only provided in the construction segment of the project value chain, enhancing return to shareholders.”

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