Murray & Roberts to sell engineering company Clough to Webuild
Murray & Roberts, a South Africa-based engineering and mining contractor, has signed a sale and purchase pact to sell Clough Limited to an Italian industrial group Webuild for approximately A$350 million ($225.8 million).
Clough is an Australia-based engineering and construction business, which has an order backlog and preferred bids of €4.8 billion and revenues of €1 billion. The company is said to have a financial debt-free balance sheet.
The sale of the Australian engineering and construction company is expected to address its working capital requirements mainly in the energy, resources and infrastructure (ERI) space and the margin deterioration on the Traveler project in the US and the Waitsia project in Australia, following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Henry Laas — Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive said: “The Group reviewed a number of strategic options to address Clough’s working capital needs, which have become increasingly urgent.
“Having reviewed all available alternatives… the board of directors of Murray & Roberts concluded that a transaction with Webuild was the preferred course of action.
“This is a critical step, as the ERI platform is in immediate need of a significant cash injection to service their order book and commercial commitments, which Murray & Roberts is not able to provide.”
Upon the successful completion of the proposed deal, the cash-strapped Clough will become part of Webuild.
The acquisition of Clough is expected to increase Webuild’s footprint in Australia and provide operational and commercial synergies.
As part of the deal, the Italian industrial group will create an interim loan facility of A$30 million ($19.3 million) for Clough to continue trading till the completion of the transaction.
The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in Australia and third-party consents, along with the usual continuing obligations.