Australian division of Laing O’Rourke to be sold

Credit: Laing O'Rourke
Credit: Laing O’Rourke

Laing O’Rourke is to sell the Australian division of its business.

Despite major success in the Australasian region, the firm’s CEO Ray O’Rourke announced that his business came to the decision after conducting their 4th quarter review. According to his official statement on the global contractor’s website, recent offers of interest from other parties were factors in the decision.

Furthermore, the UK Government’s renewed focus on infrastructure and housing are noted as additional reasons for the sale, meaning that LOR can concentrate and capitalise on these European developments.

Mr. O’Rourke explains:

During the 4th Quarter of 2015 the Laing O’Rourke Group Executive carried out a strategic review of its business portfolio, including options as to the allocation of capital over the remainder of this decade. This review was partially triggered following unsolicited approaches from a number of parties expressing interest in acquiring parts of our business, including our very successful Australian business.

This is reflective of both the strength and attractiveness of this element of the Group which, having performed well in recent years, is now strongly positioned in the emerging infrastructure market with blue-chip clients, a solid pipeline, a talented leadership team and great people. Accordingly a formal sale process will now commence, led by HSBC Investment Bank and supported by our other advisors.

Another key conclusion of the review was that the European business and the UK in particular was very well placed for strong growth potential, which will be further fuelled by the Government’s renewed focus on Infrastructure and new Housing.

If we are to seize these growth opportunities, further UK investments will be required especially in areas that promote our competitiveness and the attractiveness of our offering to clients.

Consequently the Group and the European business will focus on streamlining its organisation and align its structures, processes and overheads to capture the full operational efficiencies and cost benefits which will flow from the current and future Investments in Off-site Build and advanced Digital Engineering. This is an area in which the Group intends to maintain its leadership position, maximise its competitiveness and continue to provide innovative solutions to its clients.

It has also been noted that Laing O’Rourke will make no further comment on negotiations for the sale.

A recent example of Laing O’Rourke’s Building Information Modelling prowess in Australia is the Moorebank Units Relocation development in Sydney, a $870 million, 60-building powerhouse that will house the Army’s School of Military Engineering amongst other facilities.

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