South African giant takes stake in Byrne Group

South African giant takes stake in Byrne Group

Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) a South African giant company has acquired a 40% stake in the concrete frame specialist Byrne Group.

The company, listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange, has bought the stake in the London-based firm for $13.7M.

Paul Foley, the company’s group building managing director, will join Byrne Group’s board under the terms of the deal.

Mr Foyel said that they see real synergistic benefits of working together, especially now when the UK construction market is powerful and there is growing demand for their exceptional blend of construction skills.

In its market update to its shareholders this month, the company stated that limited growth has prospects within local sectors that had prompted it to look at an entry into other markets. After due consideration, the UK market was identified as offering the most potential at acceptable levels of risk.

Since its formation in 1970, WBHO has been carrying out major construction projects across Africa and is a tier one contractor in Australia. It has a turnover of about 30BN South African Rand.

Michael Byrne, the chief executive Byrne Group said that the deal would boost its capacity to target opportunities that are rapidly changing in this post-Brexit world of construction.
Sources also said that the tie-up would not result in redundancies at the Byrne Group.

The firm’s group pre-tax losses increased widely to $13.57M in their last full-year after problem jobs at its building and fit-out arms.

Their turnover in the year by 31 May 2016 had risen by about 10% to $375.5M.
Established in 1969, the Byrne Group, which includes Byrne Bros, Chorus and Ellmer Construction.

Among the jobs it has worked on is London Olympic Stadium, the Tate Modern extension, Bloomberg’s HQ and the Shard.

The group appointed Bovis veteran John Anderson as its new managing director in January 1016.