Orascom plots global expansion

Construction division of the Egyptian conglomerate is now a major shareholder in Belgium-based Societe Belge des Betons.

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By  David Ingham Published  June 23, 2004

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has taken a major interest in Belgium-based Societe Belge des Betons (SBB) through a joint venture called MANOCI. The company, owned 50:50 by OCI and management from BESIX, an SBB subsidiary, has acquired 96% of SBB. “This acquisition is immediately accretive for OCI shareholders and will allow for significant synergies between SBB (Belge de Betons) and OCI in the near future,” said Nassef Sawiris, chief executive officer of OCI. “OCI will account for this new subsidiary using the proportionate consolidation method which shall have significant impact on our financial statements. “We are confident that the SBB/ BESIX management is capable of delivering strong results. We look forward to a constructive and productive partnership.” Changes to the board of SBB were made following completion of the acquisition. The resignation of Jean-Francois van Hecke as chief executive officer (CEO) of SBB was accepted and his replacement by Johan Beerlandt approved. Jean Stephenne, who has been a member of the board of directors since June 2001, has been elected as the new Chairman of SBB. Stephenne is also the chairman and general manager of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals. Societe Belge des Betons, established in 1909, is an industrial group of companies primarily active in the field of construction. Its largest subsidiary is BESIX. SBB reported revenue of EUR 776 million ($937.5 million) in 2003 and net profit of EUR 14.3 million (US 17.3 million.) The company employs 10,000 people worldwide.

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