Orascom Construction Industries announced that BESIX Group – 50 per cent owned by OCI - has signed an agreement for a total value less than US$40 million to acquire two Belgium-based groups, SOCOGETRA and COBELBA, with operations in road construction works, general contracting and aggregates, ready-mix concrete production and asphalt spanning Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Hungary. SOCOGETRA has around 60 years of experience in the road construction industry and is a producer of aggregates, ready-mix concrete and asphalt. Overall, SOCOGETRA has an annual production capacity of 1.1Mt of aggregates including a 700,000t limestone quarry in joint venture with Lafarge. COBELBA is a reputable general contractor established in 1994 with operations in Belgium and Luxembourg. Combined, the business will generate approximately US$ 110m in consolidated revenue with an EBITDA of US$ 7.5m during 2006. The acquired companies have no debt on their balance sheets.
BESIX Group Chief Executive Officer, Johan Beerlandt commented "This acquisition further strengthens BESIX in its home market. The diversification into road construction also positions BESIX well to cope with the growing need for infrastructure in Europe and will allow us to leverage this expertise in select opportunities in the Middle East and Africa in the future. Moreover, our investment in aggregates and concrete manufacturing reflects our strong view on the rising importance of these products in Europe."
OCI Chief Executive Officer Nassef Sawiris commented "the BESIX Group acquisition affirms OCI’s drive into two strategic activities including infrastructure concessions and construction; and the production of aggregates and ready-mix. We expect to create synergies between both OCI and BESIX in aggregates and ready-mix concrete production and distribution."
The transaction is currently being reviewed by the relevant anti-trust authorities, and as per the transaction agreements, the exact acquisition cost will be disclosed following regulatory approvals.