Aurecon to demerger African business


The Aurecon Group, established in 2009 through a merger between Australian firm Connell Wagner and Africa-based Africon and Ninham Shand, has announced it will separate the African business from the Aurecon Group.

The separation is the result of a proposal by the African business and the move was overwhelmingly approved by Aurecon owners, the company said in October as the global models are no longer considered an advantage in Africa. The separation is expected to become effective from 1 January 2020.

Aurecon Chief Executive Officer, William Cox, said: “Since its creation ten years ago, the Aurecon business has provided outstanding service to clients, great experience and development for its people, contributed to its communities and grown. In recent years, conditions in Africa have changed. Global models are no longer considered an advantage with clients in Africa focusing instead on supporting and working with smaller local firms.

“The overwhelming vote in favour of the separation reflects the collective belief of Aurecon’s owners that the separation of the Africa business from the overall group is in the best interests of both businesses.”

The separation is expected to become effective from 1 January 2020, subject to certain regulatory approvals. At this time the management of the Africa business will assume full responsibility for the Africa business.

Aurecon clients will continue to benefit from dedicated Global Design Centres currently based in Africa. Where there is a client and business need to deliver services collectively, this will be achieved through a formal partnership arrangement, Aurecon said.

It is anticipated the separation will: position each business to better focus on performance and growth; reduce complexity of business operations; provide greater financial security for both businesses.

“Aurecon’s strategy of building Future Ready capabilities as the source of its competitive advantage is proving effective in the geographies and markets in which it competes. The demerger allows us to increase our growth trajectory in Digital, Advisory services, and in Asia where we see immense potential,” added Cox.

“The demerger allows the Africa business to re-engineer how we partner with our clients and capitalise on market opportunities available across our continent while remaining agile, digitally focused and an African employer of choice,” said Dr Gustav Rohde, MD of the Africa business.

Transitional arrangements are being put in place to assist with separating the two businesses, which is expected to take six to nine months to complete.