Drake & Scull linked with Aramco research centre

Contractor in the running to build commercial buildings, say sources

Drake & Scull's backlog grew in 2010, said CEO Tabari.
Drake & Scull's backlog grew in 2010, said CEO Tabari.

RELATED ARTICLES: Drake & Scull secures US 70m loan for acquisitions | Drake & Scull lands $93m Presidential Palace deal | Drake & Scull net falls 45% for third quarter

Drake & Scull International, the MEP contractor, has struck an agreement in principle with Saudi Aramco to build commercial buildings at a new research institute in Riyadh, according to two sources talking to Bloomberg.

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, or Kapsarc, includes energy and environment research centres, as well as facilities for conferences, education centres, a library and a housing complex.

Zaina Tabari, Drake & Scull International’s chief corporate affairs officer, told the newswire the company had bid for the project though had yet to sign a contract.

Dubai-listed Drake & Scull International has undertaken an aggressive expansion plan across the Middle East to capture the projects arising from emerging markets. It made a number of acquisitions last year, including the full buy-out of its Qatar and Kuwait subsidiaries and a 65% stake in Drake & Scull International Saudi.

It also established Drake & Scull Construction, the overall subsidiary covering all its civil work outside the UAE, and DSI Infrastructure Water & Power, which competes for projects in the utilities sector. In December, CEO Khaldoun Tabari said the company had a backlog of AED 5.5 billion, up 66% on the same workload last year, having won AED 3 billion worth of contracts in 2010.

Earlier this week the company announced it had secured a US $70 million loan facility from the corporate arm of French bank BNP Paribas to fund acquisitions.

DSI shares closed up 0.935% to AED1.08 yesterday.

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