http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.32Change: -0.11
R/$ = 11.14Change: -0.07
Au 1223.16 $/ozChange: 5.90
Pt 1333.00 $/ozChange: 1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 16, 2009

SA, Australian consultancies merge to form ‘top 60’ global engineering force

Back
Aurecon CEO Paul Hardy explains the rationale for the three-way merger that created the company in a conversation with Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer. Cameraperson: Lizelle Cronje. Editing: Darlene Creamer. (16/3/2009)
Engineering|Expertise|Johannesburg|Africa|Africon|BKS|Connell Wagner Of Australia|Consulting|Eskom|Ninham Shand|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|South African Airways|Stewart Scott|Water|Africa|Europe|Singapore|South Africa|USD|Building|Energy|Mining|Professional Technical Services|Services|Transport|Environmental|Arnie Möhr|Connell Wagner|Gustav Rohde|Infrastructure|Jakes Gerwel|Nelson Mandela|Paul Hardy|Power|Water|Maryland|Engineering News-Record|Asia Pacific|Australasia|Middle East
Engineering|Expertise||Africa|Consulting|Eskom|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|Water|Africa||||Building|Energy|Mining|Services|Transport|Environmental|Infrastructure|Power|Water|||
engineering|expertise|johannesburg|africa-company|africon-company|bks|connell-wagner-of-australia|consulting-company|eskom|ninham-shand-company|project|projects|resources|south-african-airways|stewart-scott-company|water-company|africa|europe|singapore|south-africa|usd|building|energy|mining|professional-technical-services|services|transport-industry-term|environmental|arnie-mhr|connell-wagner|gustav-rohde|infrastructure|jakes-gerwel|nelson-mandela|paul-hardy|power|water|maryland|engineering-news-record|asia-pacific|australasia|middle-east
© Reuse this



Two leading South African consulting engineering companies officially merged with one of Australasia’s largest infrastructure advisory companies on Monday to form a new global ‘top 60’ professional technical services group, with a combined revenue of $650-million.

The new company, called Aurecon, emerged as a result of a three-way merger of the capital and skills bases of Connell Wagner of Australia, with those of Africon and Ninham Shand, of South Africa, to form a new 6 700-employee entity, with 87 offices in 27 countries.

Aurecon would be headquartered in Singapore, and would seek to position itself as a large-project specialist across the infrastructure milieu, from transport to energy.

It saw particular opportunity in Africa’s power market and hoped to emerge as an “A-list” adviser to South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, which was pursuing a R385-billion, five-year expansion programme.

While the current global economic crisis had reduced market visibility in certain sectors, particularly in building and resources, the new company also saw potential upside as a result of the unprecedented response from governments, given that many of them had placed infrastructure at the centre of their economic stimulus proposals.

Aurecon would remain privately owned by its 600 invested partners and there was no intention to take the company public. But South Africa’s black economic-empowerment imperatives had reportedly been recognised and incorporated into the final ownership model.

On a pro forma basis, Connell Wagner contributed some 70% of the combined revenue to the merger entity, with the South African partners offering the balance, positioning the new entity in the top 60 of the yearly Engineering News-Record league table of international consulting engineering and architectural groups by turnover.

GERWEL TO CHAIR NEW GROUP
Its chairperson would be South Africa’s Prof Jakes Gerwel, who played  the role of DG in former President Nelson Mandela’s government and who currently occupies several high-profile nonexecutive board positions, including the chairpersonship of South African Airways.

Paul Hardy, previously the CEO of Connell Wagner, would be the company’s inaugural global CEO, while Africon’s former CEO, Dr Gustav Rohde, had been appointed CEO responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (AME). The previous MD of Ninham Shand, Arnie Möhr, would assume the role of deputy chairperson for the so-called AME zone.

The new entity would seek to participate in large-scale integrated infrastructure projects across the AME region, as well as the Asia Pacific.

Speaking at a launch function in Johannesburg, Hardy stressed that the consolidation, which had taken some 11-months to consummate, was a “merger of equals” and that it would enable the group to offer a broader range of expertise across continents.

Currently, the transport, building, mining and industry, and environmental market segments contributed about 20% each to the combined entity’s fee income, with the balance arising primarily from the power and water segments.

ORDER BOOK STILL STRONG
Hardy said that the global company still had a solid order backlog, while Rohde indicated that the order book for the AME region gave it comfort for the next 9-month to 12-month period.

Rohde indicated that Aurecon would be four times larger than its nearest South African rivals, which included firms such as Stewart Scott, BKS and Kwezi-V3.

Meanwhile, Hardy argued that the group’s newfound critical mass would position it to bid for far larger projects, including the power-related work in Africa that in recent times had gone to European and American consultancies.

Approval for the formation of Aurecon had been provided and is unopposed by the South African Competition Commission.

Hardy also stressed that no jobs would be shed as a direct result of the merger, stressing that there had been very few points of overlap between the three merging partners.

“This was a merger made in heaven,” Hardy quipped, arguing that no thought had been given to calling it off as a result of the global economic meltdown.

 

 

 

Edited by: Terence Creamer
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
Patricia de Lille, PJ Rabie and Dominic Chennells
Updated 2 hours 34 minutes ago In a boost for renewable energy, the City of Cape Town has signed its first small-scale embedded electricity generation contract with Black River Park Investments, an office park in Observatory.  The 74 000 m2 office park uses large-scale solar power systems to...
Updated 3 hours ago South Africa's nuclear cooperation deal signed this week with Russia is part of a tender process that will involve other competing countries and is not a contract to build power plants, government officials said on Tuesday. The Russian atomic agency Rosatom said on...
Article contains comments
 South Africa signed a nuclear power cooperation deal with Russia on Monday that paves the way for the building of up to 9.6 GW of nuclear power based on Russian technology by 2030, both sides said. The surprise announcement from the sidelines of a International...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 27 minutes ago The Standard Bank Group has been named one of the world’s greenest banks by Bloomberg Markets, ranked eighteenth out of 20 global finance institutions recognised for their investments in green-energy projects and efforts to reduce their own waste and carbon...
Updated 2 hours 28 minutes ago The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) was considering establishing an air quality index, to make information on the quality of ambient air in South Africa more accessible, DEA national air quality officer Dr Thulie Mdluli said on Tuesday. She noted that the...
Patricia de Lille, PJ Rabie and Dominic Chennells
Updated 2 hours 45 minutes ago In a boost for renewable energy, the City of Cape Town has signed its first small-scale embedded electricity generation contract with Black River Park Investments, an office park in Observatory.  The 74 000 m2 office park uses large-scale solar power systems to...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY Reliable Transformers designs and manufactures dry-type and oil-filled power and distribution transformers up to 3.5 MVA
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
GHAREEB SAAD Kaspersky Lab products contain strong heuristics engines that monitor suspicious file execution to detect attacks
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
MICHAEL FLETCHER Real-time information available to government when citizens use publicly funded Wi-Fi networks will enable it to communicate with citizens and provide services
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks