SMEC set to be sold to Singapore

Friday, 20 May 2016
The construction of Canberra rail station in Singapore is one of Surbana Jurong's projects. Image: Surbana Jurong

Engineering company SMEC has entered negotiations with Singapore's Surbana Jurong which will see the latter purchase SMEC for around $400 million.

The agreement will see SMEC retain its name, employees and management with CEO Andy Goodwin reporting to Surbana Jurong Group CEO Wong Heang Fine. The takeover is subject to a number of conditions, including a vote of shareholders in July this year and approval from the Australian Treasurer regarding foreign investment regulations.

“The proposed combination will enable SMEC to offer Surbana Jurong’s complementary service capabilities across our extensive global footprint. It will deliver enhanced opportunities for our staff, customers and strategic partners," said Goodwin.

"The SMEC culture built on over 50 years will work well alongside Surbana Jurong’s similar established values. The welfare of our staff has been an important factor in considering Surbana Jurong as a partner. I am delighted to have been invited to lead this new division of Surbana Jurong and look forward to working with the rest of the group.”

Wong Heang Fine said the two companies bring complementary strengths to the table as well as a rich and proud heritage of iconic projects that are recognised around the world

"As we join with SMEC’s 5400 staff to create a formidable organisation that will be among the leading engineering firms in the world, we will be in a much stronger position to compete in the big league of global urbanisation and infrastructure projects," he said.

SMEC was established in 1970 to make use of the engineering skill and expertise brought together on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. It took on infrastructure projects not only in Australia but Asia and elsewhere around the world.

“SMEC is a great Australian success story, having grown from its origins on the iconic Snowy Mountains Scheme in the 1950s to this significant milestone today for SMEC shareholders and employees," said SMEC Chairman Max Findlay.

"Together, this will be a very powerful combination to deliver top class infrastructure and urban design solutions to global clients. The group operation would have an extensive international presence, with over 100 offices in more than 50 countries in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North and South America, employing over 9400 professionals.”

Surbana Jurong is jointly owned by Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings and JTC, the Singaporean government agency responsible for the development of industrial infrastructure. It is aiming to be Asia’s consultancy powerhouse for urban and infrastructure developments and believes the acquisition of SMEC will significantly accelerate its growth in the infrastructure sector.

[The construction of Canberra rail station in Singapore is one of Surbana Jurong's projects. Image: Surbana Jurong]

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