Leighton targets partnership deals in the Gulf

Australia's largest construction firm, Leighton Holding, is looking to form partnerships with Gulf construction companies in a bid to target several projects within the region.

The new move could mean companies within the Leighton Group form separate ventures.
The new move could mean companies within the Leighton Group form separate ventures.

Australia's largest construction firm, Leighton Holding, is looking to form partnerships with Gulf construction companies in a bid to target several projects within the region.

According to Chris Gordon, general manager, corporate affairs, Leighton Asia, the move could mean companies within the Leighton group establishing separate business ventures.

Among the company's subsidiaries are Gulf Leighton, Leighton International, Leighton Asia, Leighton Properties, Leighton Contractors, and engineering divisions Thiess and John Holland.

Gordon said that Leighton Gulf is currently working on two projects in the Gulf. These include the US $407 million deal with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development for the construction of an equestrian centre and a $63 million contract won in joint venture with Kier International for roads and infrastructure works at the City of Arabia project in Dubailand.

The company is believed to be in talks with a number of companies in the region, including Dubai-based Al Habtoor Engineering. "We're not yet sure of the specifics and what type of partnerships will be formed - whether they be with contractors or developers," said Gordon.

"But we are looking to expand our presence here and feel this could be done by establishing a partnership. The partnership we form will depend on the type of opportunities that arise, and whether they are just a one-off or a long term thing."

In May, Leighton tied up with Emaar MGF, a joint venture between Emaar Properties and MGF Developments, to set up Leighton Construction India.

The company was set up with an investment of around $150 million. The initial aim of the joint venture is to provide design and construction services for Emaar MGF projects in India.

Over the next few years, the company plans to execute construction projects worth around $2.5 billion in India.

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