CGN Vol 1 Iss 1

Page 1

CONSTRUCTION Volume 1, Issue 1


News & analysis in the construction industry from across the world





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Welcome to the maiden issue of Construction Global Network (CGN) magazine. CGN is a brand new digital platform that aims to deliver all the latest news and analysis in the construction industry spanning the globe. From North America to Europe and the Middle East down to Australia, we will provide an up-to-date, authoritative voice on all the salient developments in the sprawling construction world. Each month, CGN will highlight overarching themes in the industry through exclusive interviews, in-depth spotlights on specially selected companies, thought-provoking comment pieces and guest columns from respected industry experts. Our first issue features a range of companies and projects including Australian construction giants John Holland and Doric Group, long-established South African real estate services firm Broll Property Group and Attacq – the company behind Johannesburg’s iconic Mall of Africa.

Editorial Team Editor Jacob Ambrose Willson Content Manager Michelle Madureira Content Director David Hunter Feature Writer Jack Kennedy Creative Director Hugo Currie ICT Director Stuart Clark Contributing Writers Tara Mearsheimer Matthew Bell Managing Director Simon Curran

From myself and on behalf of everyone here at CGN, we wish you a warm welcome and hope you enjoy reading this issue and encourage you to connect with us on email and Twitter.

Simon Curran

Simon Curran, Managing Director, Anderson Murray Media

CGN is part of the Anderson Murray Media publishing network, which features other well-established business titles such as Resource Global Network, African Business Network and Australia Business Network.

CGN is published by Anderson Murray Media: a diverse media and information services company focused on creating and distributing engaging content to business leaders across the globe. Fulham Green, 69-79 Fulham High Street, Main Reception, Bedford House, London SW6 3JW Tel: +44 (0) 207 148 5631


CONTENTS NEWS 6 Global construction news Our selection of the best construction stories from across the globe during the last month

COLUMNS 16 Matthew Bell A smorgasbord of Australian construction law

FEATURES 28 African Rainbow Capital South African investment company offering BEE credentials 42 Eris Property Group Advancing Accra’s newest cohort of grade A office developments 54 Billion Group Bringing catalyst developments to South African cities 68 Texton Property Fund A diversified fund with assets in South Africa and the UK 82 Attacq Advancing South Africa’s real estate sector through building quality assets 110 Broll Property Group Celebrating 40 years serving Africa’s commercial real estate market 122 John Holland Chinese ownership providing a platform for high quality project delivery 136 Georgiou Group High-level construction services delivered with passion 150 Doric Group Building Perth’s newest community development 162 Bollig Design Group Creative and contemporary designers transforming Australia’s infrastructure




APPOINTMENTS & EVENTS 172 Appointments Notable appointments in the construction industry from the past month 173 Events Our pick of the top business events happening in the construction industry in the months to come




Our selection of the be from across the globe

Construction Global Network


est construction stories during the last month



THREE CONTRACTORS SELECTED FOR NEW £400 MILLION PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND HQ Public Health England (PHE) has picked three contractors for the build of its £400 million science campus and headquarters which will be located in Harlow, Essex. Privately-owned Wates Group was awarded two of the four available slots that will cover the refurbishment of the main building and the arrivals, administration and logistics facilities. The new specialist bioscience laboratory at the HQ will be constructed by Kier Group after it won the £160 million package, while the final lot covering site-wide infrastructure, external works and energy centre was given to VolkerFitzpatrick.

Kier’s executive director for construction and infrastructure services Nigel Brook said: “This £160 million project is another significant award for Kier in bioscience, building on our track record as a specialist delivery partner in the sector. “[Our] projects have included biomedical research facilities for the University of Cambridge with Project Capella and the Sainsbury laboratory, as well as the state-of-the-art Derriford Research Facility for Plymouth University.” Preliminary work will begin next month before construction gets fully underway in 2019. The first occupants are set to move in during 2021.


CARILLION ON COLLAPSE AFTE TALKS UK construction giant Carillion will go into liquidation, threatening thousands of jobs, after talks between the firms, its lenders and the government failed to reach a last-ditch rescue deal. Carillion is the UK’s second largest construction and outsourcing firm, but has amassed debts of £1.5 billion, including a £587 million pension deficit and a £300 million cash hole. After the talks with the government failed to produce any form of bailout, it is understood that Carillion’s directors made a final rescue plea to the company’s banks. Carillion holds a large range of government projects, including the HS2 high-speed

Construction Global Network


N THE BRINK OF ER RESCUE DEAL S FAIL rail line, as well as managing various schools and prisons. However, these contracts will now have to be taken on by other firms or renationalised. The firm has 43,000 staff worldwide and 20,000 in the UK. It is not clear yet how those staff will be affected in the long-term. “All employees should keep coming to work, you will continue to get paid. Staff that are engaged on public sector contracts still have important work to do,” said government minister David Lidington. Carillion’s chairman Philip Green said it was a ‘very sad day’ for the company’s workers, suppliers and customers.

INTERNATIONAL RACE FOR CROATIAN BRIDGE BUILD WON BY CHINESE CONSORTIUM China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will lead a consortium that will build a major bridge in Croatia after it won an international race to the infrastructure project.

infrastructure projects in Croatian history and has been declared one of exceptional importance to the nation.

Once completed, the bridge will allow drivers to avoid a Croatian Roads announced detour into neighbouring the decision after the Chinese Bosnia by connecting an consortium submitted a bid isolated Croatian peninsula of around US$330 million with the mainland, linking key (excluding VAT) which beat off tourist destination cities Split competition from Austrian and and Dubrovnik. Turkish consortiums, despite the fact that the latter body’s each reportedly offered higher sums. The 2.4km beam and cablestayed Peljesac bridge and its connected access roads is one of the largest planned

The allocation of the construction contract to the Chinese consortium represents a vital breakthrough for the project, which has been in the offing for two decades.






CONSTRUCTION OF AFRICA’S TALLEST SKYSCRAPER BEGINS IN NAIROBI Construction work has begun in earnest on a building in Nairobi which will become Africa’s tallest skyscraper, after Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta laid the foundation stone of the development. The skyscraper has been named ‘The Pinnacle’ and will be located in the capital city’s financial hub Upper Hill, only 16km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Standing at a height of 300 metres, The Pinnacle will easily exceed the continent’s current tallest skyscraper, the 223 metes tall Carlton Centre in Johannesburg. The mixed-use development will incorporate residential apartments, a 5 Star Hilton Hotel, commercial and office space, a shopping mall and even its own helipad. Towards the top of the

skyscraper, a viewing platform will offer unparalleled views of the city, along with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The US$200 million project is backed by Dubai-based investors White Lotus Group and Hass Petroleum, and has already attracted a lot of interest according to Kunaal Samani, MD of Pam Golding Properties in Kenya, who have been appointed to market the residential apartments. “The Pinnacle is attracting a great deal of interest from investors. Currently, even prior to the official launch, we already have serious buyers who intend to acquire more than one apartment in order to both live and let within the building,” he said. The Pinnacle is expected to be completed during the second half of 2021.

Saudi Arabian energy firm ACWA Power has awarded an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to China’s Chint Group for the development of three solar PV plants in Egypt. The US$190 million contract forms part of ACWA’s Feed-inTariff (FiT) programme for the projects, which will generate a combined maximum of 166MW of renewable energy. The plants are located in Benban, Aswan Province and will contribute to the North African nation’s target of generating 20% of its total energy requirements from renewable sources by 2022. “We are confident of our partner Chint Group delivering the plants to the highest

Construction Global Network 11


190 MILLION EPC HINESE FIRM FOR OLAR PLANTS quality and in a timely manner without compromising health, safety and environmental impact,” said Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power. “We are excited to have entered the Egyptian power market through what we look forward to as the first three of many more assets to be developed in future.” Construction has been scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2018 with operations set to begin by the end of the year. The solar energy generated at the plants will power 80,000 houses a year, saving 156,000 tonnes of C02 annually.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON $1 BILLION VIRGIN CITY PROJECT IN NIGERIA First ground has been broken at the site of the US$1 billion Virgin City project in Southeast Nigeria, which will deliver an entire urban settlement including various infrastructural networks. The new city will be located at the mouth of the Cross River, South of the city of Calabar in Cross River state, and will consist of several markets, a residential area, schools, a supermarket and hospital along with several leisure facilities. The wider aim of the project is to build a deepwater port surrounded by facilities for industry and tourism, while also incorporating the city into a $12 billion railway that China is building along the coast of

Nigeria. Chinese company Mark Sino Construction Company will develop the massive project and Baishan Zhongtian Development Group will construct the city. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, State Governor Ben Ayade said work would start on the port on January 15 with the first order of business the building of accommodation for the 35,000 workers who will be employed at the peak of its construction. Also at the proceedings was the chairman of Mark Sino Wei Hengshan, who said his company would “work according to specification to positively transform the lives of the citizenry.”




QUINBROOK CLOSES $268 MILLION TAX EQUITY AND CONSTRUCTION FINANCING FOR US WIND PROJECT Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has closed a US$268 million tax equity and construction financing deal for the build of a 200MW wind project in the US state of Oklahoma. The project is the first stage of the 365MW Persimmon wind farm of which Quinbrook has acquired a 75% controlling stake in, along with the initial developer Elawan Wind. Quinbrook is a global investment manager specialising in low-carbon and renewable energy infrastructure assets. Global energy giant GE will supply 73 2.5MW turbines and seven 2.3MW turbines to the project, with its energy investing unit, GE Energy Financial Services, also committing over $190 million of tax equity financing. “The Persimmon wind

project is the perfect addition to Quinbrook’s growing wind portfolio, which now exceeds 2GW,” said Shawn Cumberland, Senior Managing Director at Quinbrook. “We have also found an ideal partner in Elawan, who have successfully developed the project over several years in one of the US’ strongest wind regimes, Oklahoma. “As partners, we have successfully navigated the many challenges arising from the recent US tax reform legislation and secured a very competitive financing package led by GE, as well as long-term offtake commitments with a first-rate counterparty.” Completion of the first stage and first power generation is scheduled for mid-2018. Persimmon is expected to generate nearly 900,000MWh of renewable energy every year.

CONSTRUCTIO TELESCOPE IN MANAGED Canadian consultancy engineer WSP has been named construction manager for the development of a US$1 billion telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert. WSP will use its expertise to oversee the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), including management of the budget, schedule, cost estimation, change control and site acceptance. The company will utilise its global workforce for the project, taking members of its US team and employees from Poch, an engineering and environmental consulting company based in Chile that was acquired in July 2017. The GMT will be comprised of seven 8.4 metres monolithic glass mirrors and will have a resolving power 10 times greater than that of the Hubble Space Telescope in

Construction Global Network 13


ON OF GIANT N CHILE TO BE D BY WSP the infrared region of the spectrum. Organisers hope the telescope will help answer some of the most pressing questions of contemporary astrology. “We are really pleased to be working on this landmark project, which once, completed, should be the world’s largest telescope,” said Miguel Sánchez, executive sponsor of the project. “This project truly reflects the depth and breadth of our firm. The WSP construction management team will protect the client’s interests in all areas of project implementation from planning and design through procurement and construction and into operation and maintenance.” Work on the project is set to commence in 2023.

French nuclear power company New Areva has taken a step closer to the construction of a €10 billion reprocessing plant in China after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Although not yet legally binding, the MoU provides assurance of a contract for the development and paves the way for the construction of a project which has been negotiated for more than 10 years. The agreement was signed in Beijing during a state visit by France’s President Emmanuel Macron, with China’s President Xi Jinpeng also in attendance. “We have the assurance of a contract [for the reprocessing plant] with a deadline and a signature in the spring, and this will save the industry,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Areva has struggled in recent years and was bailed out by the French state in 2017 after years of losses wiped out its equity. Therefore, the agreement represents a light at the end of the tunnel for the firm. Philippe Knoche, chief executive of Areva said: “CNNC and New Areva have stepped up their efforts to reach agreement on the contract and we are seeing today very positive results. “I am looking forward to finalising the negotiations soon, and starting the implementation of this landmark project with our partner CNNC in 2018.” Construction work could begin in 2020 ahead of a commissioning of the plant in 2030.

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COLUMNS | Matthew Bell


Construction Global Network




COLUMNS | Matthew Bell

Senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne outlines the smorgasbord of laws within Australia’s construction sector.

With these three categories of formal legal regulation as a guide, this article provides a brief overview of how the various ingredients sit on the kitchen bench of Australian construction law at the start of 2017.


As will be seen (and, with apologies for

A smorgasbord of ‘laws’ applies to

stretching the reality TV cooking analogy

construction projects in Australia. Many of

further) those ingredients – whilst palatable

these laws will be familiar to participants in

on their own – can tend to leave a bitter taste

the industry who have never set foot inside

in industry participants’ mouths when they

a law school classroom. The laws of physics

are mixed together inappropriately; or, for

dictate the way in which bridges are designed

that matter, under- (or, over-) cooked!

and built, and the law of supply and demand guides whether (and where) a developer will

Main course

place housing developments, and how large

Judge-made law

they will be.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of contracts are entered into in the Australian

What, then, do lawyers think ‘construction

construction industry, covering projects from

law’ is? For us, it is the formal legal regulation

simple home renovations up to multi-billion

which tells project participants what they

dollar infrastructure and resources facilities.

must, and must not, do. The source of these

Unsurprisingly, many of these projects

requirements falls into three basic streams:

generate disputes. However, relatively few

judge-made (or ‘common’) law, legislation,

of these disputes find their way to Australia’s

and industry-based requirements (notably,

superior courts.

standard forms of contract). Instead, most are resolved by the parties The interplay between these sources is

themselves, through private modes such

constantly in flux. This is due to myriad

as dispute boards, arbitration or expert

factors including prevailing economic

determination, or within specialised fora

conditions and political ideologies. The

such as the Building and Property List of the

law-making process in this area is made

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

significantly more complex in Australia due to our federal system. As a result, in

When construction law cases do reach

many key areas there is significant disparity

appellate-level courts, therefore, they are

of approach across the eight States and

keenly watched by the industry and its


lawyers. Late 2016 was a particularly active time, with several cases of direct relevance to

Construction Global Network construction law decided by the High Court of Australia: • Paciocco v ANZ Banking Group Ltd [2016] HCA 28 was a case about bank fees. However, it has resonance in construction law because the underlying legal principle – the so-called ‘doctrine of penalties’ – is fundamental to the enforceability of agreed (or ‘liquidated’) damages, which are a commonly-deployed mechanism in construction contracts. In finding that the relevant fees were not (unenforceable) penalties, the Court confirmed that a high bar stands in the way of those seeking to show that a contractual stipulation is a penalty. Here, the customer needed to prove that the late payment fee was out of all proportion to the bank’s interest in relation to timely repayment. The Court saw the bank’s interest as one which could be taken into account to justify the amount charged. Commentators have noted that this focus on ‘legitimate interests’ potentially widens opportunities for parties to construction contracts to defend the enforceability of their liquidated damages regimes. In Simic v New South Wales Land and Housing Corporation [2016] HCA 47, the High Court dealt with a situation where the principal under a construction contract was


Senior Lecturer and CoDirector of Studies for Construction Law, Melbourne Law School Matthew Bell is a Senior Lecturer and CoDirector of Studies for Construction Law at Melbourne Law School. He joined the Law School in 2005 after several years’ experience as a construction lawyer with Clayton Utz in Melbourne and Clifford Chance in London. Matthew is the author of many publications in the field, including the texts Construction Law in Australia and Understanding Australian Construction Contracts (with Ian Bailey), and his scholarship and teaching has been recognised in several awards. Matthew is Professional Support Lawyer to the Construction and Major Projects at Clayton Utz on a part-time basis and Chair of the Academic Subcommittee of the Society of Construction Law Australia.

misnamed on the bank undertaking which the contractor was required to provide to secure its performance under that contract.

a@MelbConstrucLaw h



COLUMNS | Matthew Bell

Construction Global Network The Court held that the undertaking could

appeal is heard, as it goes to the fundamental

not be construed to be in favour of the

issue of the types of adjudication errors

principal. This provided an important

which are susceptible of judicial review.

reminder about the need for precision in drafting these commonly-used instruments.


The principal was, however, saved by the

The security of payment legislation in place

Court’s willingness to ‘rectify’ the reference

across the eight Australian States and

based on the shared intention of the parties,

Territories is perhaps the most prominent

viewed objectively.

example of the disparity in approach noted above. Whilst all the Acts have a common

• Southern Han Breakfast Point v Lewence

intent, the States and Territories have gone in

Construction Pty Ltd [2016] HCA 52 offered

different – and, often conflicting – directions

guidance on the concept of ‘reference dates’

in the past two decades as their respective

under the NSW legislation, confirming that

statutes have been enacted and reformed.

the existence of such a date is a precondition to the right to submit a payment claim under

There is a deep philosophical divide between

the NSW legislation.

the approaches of the WA and NT Acts and those of the other six jurisdictions, especially

Whilst this is an important confirmation,

as to the role of the adjudicator and the

perhaps the greater significance of the

extent of intervention into the parties’

case lay in it being the first time the High

bargain by the legislation. Other differences

Court had considered a legislative scheme

seem more technical, but can cause real

(discussed below) which has become

headaches for construction companies

fundamental to construction law and

working across borders. These include the


provisions for days on which time stops running for the purpose of payment claims

In January 2017, Justice Susan Kiefel AC

and adjudications during the Christmas-new

succeeded Justice Robert French AC as

year industry shut-down.

Chief Justice of Australia. It seems likely that the Kiefel Court will be called upon to

Take, as a hypothetical example, a new

decide important issues in construction law

pavement being laid for the main runway at

percolating up from the lower courts.

the Gold Coast airport. That runway straddles the border between NSW and Queensland.

Indeed, in mid-May, the Court is considering

Happily, pilots and passengers are not

a Special Leave application to appeal the

required to show their passports as their

decision in Shade Systems Pty Ltd v Probuild

aircraft crosses the border during take-off or

Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd (No 2) [2016]

landing. However, the head contractor could

NSWCA 379: this will be followed closely if the

find itself facing a minefield in navigating the



COLUMNS | Matthew Bell security of payment legislation in replacing

This reinstatement has been a vital plank

the pavement (assuming, for the sake of

in the Turnbull Government’s construction

the hypothetical, that the legislation applies

industry agenda. As a result, under the

to the relevant work – this of itself can be a

umbrella of the Building and Construction

complex issue).

Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (Cth), the government has:

If a payment claim for $700,000 were submitted by a subcontractor on 21

• set up a Security of Payments Working

December 2016, the head contractor’s


requirement, common under both Acts, to respond within 10 ‘business days’ would have

• bolstered the payment-related provisions in

expired on 12 January 2017 on the Tweed

the Code for the Tendering and Performance

Heads side of the border but not until 24

of Building Work 2016 (also known as the

January 2017 on the Coolangatta side. The

‘Building Code’), with effect from 21 February

situation would be still more complicated if

2016; and

the claim were for more than $750,000 in respect of work done on the Coolangatta

• appointed Mr John Murray AM with a

side, as this could comprise a ‘complex

broad remit to review the existing security of

payment claim’ under the Queensland Act.

payment legislation, with a final report due by the end of 2017.

There are many hidden layers like these, even in laws that are supposed to provide

Murray is consulting widely in relation to his

a straight-forward and effective solution

review, giving the industry confidence that

to the age-old problem of non-payment.

meaningful, national reform could finally be

They can be as dangerous for poorly-

on the horizon.

informed construction practitioners as any latent ground conditions. Not surprisingly,

Standard forms

therefore, there have been calls for

Standard forms of contract continue to be

harmonisation and simplification of these

widely used in the Australian construction

laws for many years.

industry. In a research project which Melbourne Law School ran in conjunction

In 2017, there is at last some real hope

with the Society of Construction Law Australia

for such reforms, thanks to amendments

in 2014, we found that 68% of the reported-

negotiated by Senate cross-benchers in

upon projects used a standard form as a

passing the legislation to reinstate the


Australian Building and Construction Commission in late 2016.

We also found that, of those contracts, 84% were amended from the standard form, and

ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 23 Construction


COLUMNS | Matthew Bell that the extent of amendment was often extensive. The most-used Australian standard forms according to our survey, the Australian Standards AS4300-1995 and AS4000-1997, are now more than 20 years old. In their unamended form, they do not even provide for GST, let alone more recent legislative developments and market-expected provisions such as general limitations of liability. The production of a discussion draft of a new form, AS11000 in 2015 was, therefore, both widely anticipated in the industry and a catalyst for discussions about the current role for standard forms. The draft excited significant interest. Not only did it bring the form up to date, it also fostered measures such as explicit expectations of dealings being guided by good faith and mutual trust and confidence, and dispute avoidance. Standards Australia announced in early April 2017 that the AS11000 process had been discontinued due to lack of support for the form amongst some stakeholder interests. Whilst the industry awaits clarity on the next step in the evolution of Australian Standards forms, developments in standard forms overseas continue to be watched. This is especially the case on engineering projects involving international parties who are familiar with forms commonly used abroad, including those of FIDIC and the NEC3, both of which are bringing out new suites in 2017.

Australian Construction Business Global Network

Care to have a look at the dessert menu? Construction and its law provides a fascinating interplay between time-honoured behaviours and cutting-edge technology. Self-driving cars are now being tested on roads, the cement for which was mixed using techniques dating back at least two centuries. Electronic, tablet-based contract management systems are becoming ubiquitous on major construction sites, yet the risk allocation for some of their contract terms continues to resemble those which were carved on a stone tablet for King Hammurabi in ancient Babylon. As construction projects become increasingly automated, with tunnel boring machines doing the digging and robots laying the bricks, the need has never been more acute for the humans involved in projects to understand the risks involved in construction and to work collaboratively to address those risks. Proper planning – including adequate funding, and anticipation of the raft of potential legal requirements – combined with good communication during projects, can go a long way towards avoiding needless disputes. These lessons may be timeless, yet they are easy to lose sight of as the smorgasbord of Australian construction law is constantly consumed and re-laid. Bon appetit!


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FINANCE | African Rainbow Capital

African Rain FRUIT

South African investment com

South African agribusines

Construction Global Network

nbow Capital TWAYS

mpany offering BEE credentials

ss with a global dispersal



FINANCE | African Rainbow Capital

Patrice Motsepe does not need much of an introduction. Arguably South Africa’s most successful businessman, Motsepe made his fortune in the mining industry during the 1990s, before being officially named the country’s richest man in 2012. However, he has also consistently combined business entrepreneurship with philanthropy, committing half his wealth to charity in 2013 when, alongside Bill Gates and others, he joined the Giving Pledge. The latest in a long list of business ventures headed by Motsepe, African Rainbow Capital aims to bring empowerment credentials to leading South African companies in the financial sector. The chain of investment decisions made by Motsepe that led to the formation of African Rainbow Capital (ARC) began back in 2004, when he became the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) shareholder in South African financial services group Sanlam. To this day, Motsepe’s BEE credentials rest with his investment firm, named UbuntuBotho Investments, which is owned by a wide variety of companies and groups. While his trust owns 55% of the business, 25% is held by a range of organisations from different provinces, women, youth, church groups and unions. The remaining 20% is owned by a community development trust.

Resource Global Network 31 Construction Global Network


FINANCE | African Rainbow Capital After Ubuntu-Botho bought shares in Sanlam, Motsepe began working closely with the group’s CEO Johan van Zyl and Johan van der Merwe, who was CEO of Sanlam Investments. Fast forward to around a year and a half ago, the trio decided to start a new enterprise using Ubuntu-Botho as the vehicle to drive a new investment company which provides BEE representation to investee companies.

Black Economic Empowerment Since its inception as a programme administered by the South African government in 2003, BEE has become an increasingly crucial element that underpins virtually all businesses in the country. BEE not only aims to bring the black majority into the economic mainstream, it is also a growth strategy which strives to maximise the country’s economic potential. Under the system, companies with BEE representation are given a scorecard, where a higher rating brings a host of benefits to the company, not least a glowering reputation nationwide. This is where ARC comes in. Through the different groups and trusts that own various sized slices of Ubuntu-Botho, ARC provides a strong BEE presence to the wide range of businesses it chooses to invest in. “We get approaches from companies all the time asking for consideration to receive investment, because there is such a huge need for empowerment in South Africa,” says ARC’s co-CEO van der Merwe.

Construction Global Network



FINANCE | African Rainbow Capital

Johan van der Merwe “People want to have a credible empowerment partner and they also want empowerment partners that add value and have capital available. From that perspective, we have all those ingredients.” These ingredients combine to make ARC a very attractive proposition for a wide range of firms who require a company shareholder with BEE credentials.

Patrice Motsepe

Therefore, when ARC does choose to invest

established an auspicious reputation thanks

in a company, whether it be a private or

to its investments and the subsequent

publicly-listed outfit, the investment trust

contributions made to a wide array of

assumes a position on the board and

investee companies, along with its high-

attempts to add value by supporting the

calibre management team.

strategy going forward, with a particular focus on the financial services side of the

“With Patrice at the helm, along with Johan


van Zyl, who has been credited as a huge success from his time at Sanlam, we are

Despite only formally launching little over

very well known both in South Africa and

a year ago in April 2016, ARC has already


Construction Global Network

“People want to of the Giving Pledge foundation,” reveals van have a credible der Merwe. empowerment Investee companies partner and they also ARC follows a very clear policy in terms want empowerment of its investment criteria, looking for wellestablished businesses with aspirations that partners that add correspond with its own lofty standards. value and have capital available. From that perspective, we have all those ingredients.” Johan van der Merwe, co-chief executive officer “Bill Gates has also been out here visiting

recently, as Patrice is still very much a part

Johan van Zyl



FINANCE | African Rainbow Capital

“Typically, we invest in stable businesses with

forward, while guaranteeing to make the firm

an excellent management team and good

either more defensive or competitive after it

prospects, and we want to buy that business

absorbs ARC’s empowerment credentials.

at a discount,” says van der Merwe. Consequently, over its short period of As a result of ARC’s attractiveness, as an

existence, ARC has identified (and been

investment firm with BEE credentials and

identified by) a vast array of companies

readily available capital, the company is able

across multiple sectors in South Africa. One

to claim discounted prices upon entry into a

such focus has emerged in the South African

business, usually around the 20% mark.

real estate sector, which seems particularly fertile for investment.

However, buying into a business represents a long-term commitment for ARC.

Real estate The myriad property investment prospects

“We invest for the long term and don’t see a

available to ARC has opened up an

lock-in (to ensure BEE credentials) of anything

interesting joint venture opportunity, which

up to five years as a problem.”

saw the company team up with Jonathan Beare, one of the most successful real estate

During this time, ARC will place a huge

investors in South Africa, and his team from

emphasis on driving the management team

Signature Investment Holdings.

Construction Global Network

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R1.5 billion worth of transactions without

the properties, and they also take all of that

spending that much of its raised equity.

cost in their own vehicle. Then we bring the empowerment credentials, and based on

The A2X stock exchange

these Signature can negotiate such good

However, ARC’s most recent investment has

deals that they are prepared to take on all

taken place outside of South Africa’s real

the other costs,” says van der Merwe.

estate sector and represents a significant juncture in the company’s short history.

This mutually advantageous relationship has yielded promising results, particularly for

At the end of March, ARC purchased a 20%

ARC which raised its 52% slice of an initial R1

stake in the embryonic A2X Markets, which

billion in equity for the real estate fund, but

is set to challenge the well-established, but

has not actually needed to spend much of

as of yet unchallenged, Johannesburg Stock

this figure.

Exchange (JSE).

The majority of transactions completed

Once again, the firm’s BEE empowerment

by ARC thus far have involved 15-year

credentials provided the opportunity for ARC

leases from AAA-rated companies, which

to undertake an ownership stake within this


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exciting financial prospect, which is a clear

to list towards the end of the third quarter,

indication of a new phase in the company’s

which will allow members of the public and


other people to invest in us,” confirms van der Merwe.

“We are going to put all of our businesses into an investment trust that we are going

The assembling of all its investee

“We realise that the need for empowerment in South Africa is so enormous that we could easily build a business of R20-50 billion.”

companies into one investment trust and the subsequent public flotation on the JSE and the A2X represents an opportunity for ARC to utilise public shareholders, while guaranteeing its empowerment credentials through maintaining a majority black ownership. “We’ve done quite a bit of research on stock exchanges, particularly in European countries where there was only one stock exchange in a country before a rival market eventually materialised.

Construction Global Network

“We found in these markets, the second

in two R5 billion tranches. The first tranche

exchange often gained significant market

is a given and the second depends on how

share, and this is because people inherently

successfully the first tranche is invested.

dislike a monopoly. “We realise that the need for empowerment “We are very excited to be playing this role as

in South Africa is so enormous that we could

a pioneer in breaking the monopoly in South

easily build a business of between R20-50


billion, and Patrice has the brand name and

Future expansion Following ARC’s momentous decision to list on the South African stock exchanges, the company plans to continue investing in wellrecognised public and private firms, further building the base provided by billionaire philanthropist Motsepe and Ubuntu-Botho. “Patrice has made R10 billion available to us

the credibility to achieve this.”



PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENTS | Eris Properties Ghana (Eris Property Group)



Construction Global Network



ing Accra’s newest cohort of grade A office developments


PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENTS | Eris Properties Ghana (Eris Property Group)

Eris Property Group began life in 2008, emerging out of the ashes of RMB Properties, a prominent property development and services company which had served the South African sector since 1987. Carrying the flame of RMB, Eris has progressed into a leading provider of commercial property services across South African and sub-Saharan markets.

along with leasing services in the country. In

The company’s transition beyond the borders

The services eventually offered by Eris will

of South Africa began when it recently came

include property assets management, retail

on board with a real estate private equity

services, listed sector and investments,

fund called the Momentum Africa Real

trading and investments, investment

Estate Fund (MAREF), which focuses on real

broking, property valuations and facilities

estate investments across five sub-Saharan

management, along with the services it offers

countries enjoying rapid development within

to the national market.

particular, the firm has focused the majority of its resources on property development services towards its flagship Accra projects – 335 Place and SU Tower. However, it is the long-term objective of Eris Properties Ghana to imitate the multitude of property services offered by its South Africa-based parent firm, once its initial flagship projects are complete and suitably embedded into the Ghanaian property market.

their market economies. “Full property management activities will Consequently, Eris recently established a

commence on completion of the two [Accra]

local presence in Ghana, one of the five

projects,” says Entsua-Mensah.

countries supported by the MAREF, with the West African nation highlighted as an

“We firmly believe by the completion of

auspicious hub for the firm’s ongoing sub-

these projects, the market will understand

Saharan property development strategy. With

the immense knowledge and skill we bring

a number of exceptional developments set to

to Ghana, which should create a greater

be unveiled in the near future Enoch Entsua-

willingness to deal with us again on other

Mensah, CEO of Eris Properties Ghana, cuts a

related commercial property services.”

profoundly enthusiastic figure talking to ABN.

Stable foundations

335 Place The first of two grade A Eris office

Still at the foundation stage of its story, Eris

developments in Accra is named 335 Place,

Properties Ghana is currently focused on

located in North Dzorwulu, an area which has

property development and advisory services

become known as the city’s oil & gas enclave,

Construction Global Network

Eris’s flagship building in Accra, 335 Place



PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENTS | Eris Properties Ghana (Eris Property Group)

Construction Global Network with major regional players such as Tullow

but also close to recently constructed retail

Oil, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation

and leisure developments, such as Accra Mall

(BOST) and Ghana Petroleum Commission, all

and Fiesta Royale Hotel.

having operational bases in the region. “In site location, strong consideration is given Additionally, close by to the development

to accessibility and proximity to amenities

is Airport City, an urban development area

and facilities that complement work lifestyle,

which has been subject to a significant

for instance restaurants, shopping centres,

figure of investment, from real estate to its

community schools and bus terminals, and

commercial and retail industries.

335 Place has been a perfect example of this.”

335 Place promises to become the region’s newest and sleekest office development, with

Construction work at the site is progressing

the finished article set to offer 9,985m² of

well, as piling works relating to the

leasable office space over 12 floors, along

substructure development were recently

with 380 parking bays.

completed, with the next phase of construction work on the ground floor

However, the $40.2 million project will


not only resemble the latest high-tech, sustainably developed addition to Ghana’s

335 Place is currently on track for a

business district, but also sits in extreme

completion date of August 2018.

close proximity to the N1/Accra-Tema Motorway/George W Bush highway, along

SU Tower

with Kotoka International Airport.

Eris Ghana’s second landmark Accra development, named SU Tower, will sit

The ideal nature of 335 Place’s location will

proudly in the very heart of the capital’s

subsequently enable the development to

financial district when the ribbon is finally cut

evolve into a hive of commercial activity, with

in November 2018.

clients and investors not just from Accra, but around the world able to convene at

A uniquely designed 12-storey A grade office,

the office with utmost ease. The possible

SU Tower is set to become the jewel in the

business-inducing rewards of its location are

crown of Accra’s vibrant business region,


with its prime location once again a crucial contributing factor towards the bubbling

Site location is a crucial part of Eris Ghana’s

excitement generating around the project.

property development strategy, which is confirmed by 335’s positioning, not only

“When you look at the design of the tower,

being well-served by existing transport links,

the fact that it is 12 storeys means that the



PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENTS | Eris Properties Ghana (Eris Property Group)


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building will become a very imposing feature

the building before travelling up to their

of the area.

respective offices, as opposed to parking outside the workplace.

“Combine this with the unique nature of its location and you begin to see why the

“We want efficiency and productivity to be

excitement is building,” exclaims Entsua-

at its best within these work places, which is


why particular consideration has been given to parking within the projects.

SU Tower is located alongside a double arterial roadway, which will allow for

“Saving tenants time in getting parking

motorists to conveniently navigate traffic

slots every morning has been an enduring

depending on the situation or time of

matter of concern throughout the entire

the day, expediting the daily commute of

development process.

employees working at the building. “We at Eris Ghana like to assist businesses by Furthermore, the design of SU Tower has

helping them understand the value of ways

incorporated a structured parking system

in which an office design can contribute to a

within the core of the building, allowing for

successful business through economy and

employees to park inside the confines of

improving the performances of its people.”

ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 49 Construction

Facilitating economic growth

placed to contribute to this economic revival with the finalising of its 335 Place and SU Tower developments.

Prior to around 2013/14, led by a rapidly developing business sector in Accra, Ghana

Furthermore, Ghana (and Accra in particular)

was viewed as a stand-out model for African

remains an increasingly attractive business

growth, with a strong GDP driven by gold,

destination, on a continental and worldwide

cocoa and oil exports.


However, around three years ago the

“Notwithstanding the economic slowdown

Ghanaian economy dipped as the nation

particularly in the last two years, Accra is

became afflicted by a growing public deficit,

still experiencing sustained interest from

high inflation and a weakening currency.

international and local companies wishing to enter and expand their market; they require

But upon receiving a monetary aid

world class commercial office space.”

programme from the IMF and stabilising its macroeconomic sector, promising growth

This is exactly what Eris will provide with its

levels returned in 2016. With Ghana’s GDP

landmark Accra developments, which will

growth set to reach 7.5% in 2018, Eris is well

act as a homing beacon for international


PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENTS | Eris Properties Ghana (Eris Property Group)

commerce, bringing greater economic

advantage of this with our landmark Accra

advancement to the city.

developments, along with some additional projects in our pipeline.”

“I firmly believe the addition of these projects speak volumes about the direction we believe

Not only is Eris providing a platform for

the Ghanaian economy is headed in,” gleams

commercial and economic development with

Entsua-Mensah. “There is a growing optimism

its two grade A office developments, 335

that things are on the right trajectory though

Place and SU Tower will also become symbols

it may take a little while.

of pride for the people of Accra, as the city solidifies its position among Africa’s elite

“Demand for well thought-out offices will

business destinations.

become even greater in the next two to three years, and Eris is well poised to take

With Eris Properties Ghana set to deliver

Construction Global Network

an exciting flurry of projects over the next

“There is a lot of both foreign and local

few years, Entsua-Mensah finds himself in a

interest in the property sectors. Before

bullish mood regarding the success that Eris

investors were just watching but now they

will bring to Ghana.

are jumping head first into projects.”

“When you take a careful look at the Accra skyline, you can gradually see the changes that are afoot. “We are about to deliver two grade A properties to Accra with an even greater supply pipeline. Ghana does not yet have the investment property portfolio of South Africa, but we’re on the right path.





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CONSTRUCTION | Billion Group


Bringing catalyst dev

Construction African Business Global Network


velopments to South African cities



CONSTRUCTION | Billion Group

Billion Group was formed by South African property magnate Sisa Ngebulana in 1998 with the aspiration to create a property development firm, which would have a significant impact in terms of bringing socioeconomic advancement to new areas in South Africa. Now in the year of its 18th birthday, it is clear that Billion Group has most certainly come of age. From early beginnings as a property development junior, the business has gradually evolved into a publicly traded firm with a substantial market share, following the birth of Rebosis in 2010. A year later, Rebosis (a subsidiary group of Billion) became the first majority black-owned property fund to be listed on the JSE, a landmark milestone for the company. ABN talks to Billion’s development director Dewald van Staden, who charts the rise of one of South Africa’s most influential property development firms.

with bold architecture in highly accessible locations, which are likely to have a transformative impact in the local area. The company’s portfolio reflects a sustained focus on mixed-use retail projects located in new urban development nodes across several South African cities. Consequently, Billion’s current portfolio alludes to its astute approach to property development. “We try not to do what everybody else does,” claims van Staden.“We look at different sectors and are pioneers in some of the areas where we have managed recent property developments, from a geographical point of view. “The bulk of our developments are in areas where we have been the catalyst for further development in that region. We look at market indicators and growth patterns for the various locations, and then come down into these areas and start off the development process.” Therefore, Billion’s concentration on developing retail projects in new urban precincts represents a very calculated method of building markets and communities in tandem, with shopping malls acting as the very foundation of this growth.

Billion Group provides a number of property development services to several key sectors,

This phenomenon can be observed in

including retail, commercial, residential

many of Billion’s completed mixed-use

and mixed-use projects, all of which are

developments, including the Forest Hill City

underpinned by a steadfast philosophy.

mall in Centurion, Pretoria West and the BT

Billion prides itself on undertaking projects

Ngebs City mall in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

Construction Global Network



CONSTRUCTION | Billion Group

BT Ngebs

“BT Ngebs was the first blueprint of our strategy to bring retail to communities where it has never been before, and it has been very successful in this respect.” The 60,000m² state-of-the-art, regional shopping centre has offered a comprehensive retail experience to its visitors since it opened in mid-2015, with a diverse mix of popular tenants. But crucially, the development has become the focal point of a thriving regional economy in Mthatha, through job creation and a subsequent rise in consumer activity, along with related infrastructural developments. Based on the socio-economic development BT Ngebs has brought to Mthatha, Billion has followed up on this success with the construction of a hotel, which is set to open in the coming months, and has further scope for expansion with casino facilities. However, Billion’s stand-out success story has been the development of Port Elizabeth’s 90,000m² Baywest Mall, which became the largest shopping centre in the Eastern Cape when it opened its doors in May 2015. The super-regional mall is a sight to behold with its striking architectural design and comprehensive mix of 250 retail brand stores, restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities including a cinema with an IMAX screen and an ice rink.

Construction Global Network

BT Ngebs



CONSTRUCTION | Billion Group

Baywest Mall

ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 61 Construction Since its opening, Baywest Mall has consistently performed above expectations and has taken Billion’s catalyst development strategy to new heights by acting as a stepping stone for a much bigger project.

Baywest City The mall has proved to be just the beginning of the Baywest development, with the landmark Baywest City set to follow it over the next 15 years. Dubbed ‘a city within a city’, Billion has taken sole responsibility for the development of the wide-reaching urban development node. “We have identified Baywest as a growth point for Nelson Mandela Bay and as such, we are working very closely with the local government’s economic development department in order to ensure that we take responsible care of the development of the precinct.” The development will, over 300 hectares of urban space, have 6,000 residential units and a number of commercial offices, industrial centres of commercial offices, industrial centres, parks, schools and other various public facilities, many of which are already under construction. “We are in the process of securing a national hospital group for the precinct. The license has already been awarded so the next step will be the roll out of that, which is imminent,” explains van Staden. “Then the rest of the growth surrounding


CONSTRUCTION | Billion Group the shopping mall involves government and commercial offices, restaurants and a major residential development that will be backed up by schools and other supportive institutions.” To have the roots of a brand new urban development shoot up from the construction of a retail mall represents the purest attainment of Billion Group’s growth-inducing and society building strategy. The company has always maintained that Baywest City represents much more than just a large-scale development project, but an opportunity to advance the lives of many through job creation and the construction of an inclusive, fully serviced and integrated community. “The biggest thing that we want to try and establish in all of our precincts is job creation, and raising the standards of living for the people around us. “We aim to create a model with mutual benefits between the community and the precinct, and a sustainable development, which is what we are doing at Baywest City.”

Sustainability Sustainability has recently become a buzzword among South African construction companies, but for Billion Group sustainable development means much more than just environmentally friendly business practises.

Construction Global Network

Forest Hill



CONSTRUCTION | Billion Group

Particularly throughout the Baywest City

community-minded approach to the project

development, sustainability has been

will allow Baywest City to eventually flourish

consistently defined along the lines of how

into a contemporary urban centre that

the planned growth will positively impact the

people will aspire to be a part of.

community within the precinct. During the remainder of 2017, Billion “We are very much focused on community

Group aims to continue on the long path

and making sure that it is not a one-sided

towards the grand unveiling of the Baywest

approach, the community is all part of the

City project, while also looking to develop

growth experience of the development.�

sustainable growth opportunities around its existing precincts.

Consequently, Billion believes this

Construction Global Network

Hemmingways “The short to medium term goal is to

Billion’s winning strategy, whereby it

strengthen our nodes to make sure that

creates a thriving retail centre in locations

there is business outside the malls that

earmarked for future growth, has guaranteed

can feed back in and vice-versa,” notes van

the company further success, as more


development opportunities arise in the area.

“We’ve got a very exciting pipeline there are plenty of opportunities floating around and it’s going to be a great two to three years for our development opportunities around our precincts.”


Turning property aspirations into reality For over 100 years we have partnered with investors, developers, business owners and listed clients across Africa to facilitate financing solution partnerships that enable them to achieve their ambitions. Commercial Property Finance

Finance. Develop. Prosper.

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REAL ESTATE | Texton Property Fund


A diversified fund with asset


ts in South Africa and the UK

Construction Global Network



REAL ESTATE | Texton Property Fund

After listing on the JSE in 2011, Texton Property Fund (JSE:TEX) went from strength to strength as a real estate investment trust building a portfolio of over 50 assets across South Africa and the United Kingdom. The portfolio is diversified across various sectors including commercial office space, industrial and retail properties. At the time of listing, the fund’s total asset value was R943 million and in the five years since, Texton is about to breach the R6 billion mark. Chief executive officer Nic Morris is now leading the fund on a programme of continued diversification both geographically and by sector, while at the same time, aiming to reduce exposure to reduce more riskier assets. Texton’s stated objective is to reduce its exposure to commercial offices in South Africa and to continue to increase its exposure to the UK market by increasing its portfolio split by value to 50:50 across both countries. The foundations of the company are in the South African commercial office space, and the portfolio of assets that Texton brought to the market at the time of listing consisted primarily of office buildings with a large

Resource Global Network 71 Construction Global Network

B & Q Cambourne Diners Club

“The strategy to diversify brought with it a new management team altogether, a new management company and we completed a R200 million capital raise in December 2015. We deployed those funds to grow the business in the UK.� Nic Morris, managing director number of tenants being government departments. Given the company’s change in strategy, Texton is now dramatically different and has worked hard to diversify its investments. Initially the company focused on government tenants and secondary office space in South Africa, however Morris says a new strategy has seen the company focus on diversifying its investments with a view to reducing inherent risks; reducing vacancies and negotiating longer-term lease contracts.

Diners Caterpillar Club

In 2014, when the portfolio had reached

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Johannesburg +27 11 911 8000 An independently owned and operated affiliate of Cushman & Wakefield

Construction Resource Global Network

Greenstone Hill Office Park

a value of R1.8 billion, the management

R986 million rights offer in October 2015 and

company, Vunani Property Asset

proceeds from disposal of non-core assets.

Management Proprietary Limited, was sold

We deployed the funds to grow the business

to new shareholders who brought with

in both SA the UK, with a view to moving

them years of experience in the property

closer to our stated objective,” says Morris.

sector, both in South Africa and the UK. The new strategy firstly focused on geographic

“At 30 June 2016 the company owned 48

diversification through the addition of assets

assets in South Africa and nine in the UK,

in the UK, which added to the established

including a 50% joint venture share in the

South African business and secondly, aimed

Broad Street Mall located in Reading, UK.

to reduce the reliance on the office sector

This is the company’s largest asset, valued at

by acquiring additional retail and industrial

£65.4 million (100% of the asset). Post year


end we acquired two more assets in the UK taking our entire UK portfolio value to £131

“The strategy to diversify brought with it a


new executive management team. Since the change in strategy, Texton has completed

While the geographic profile of properties is

several acquisitions which have been funded

heavily weighted towards South Africa, with

through bank funding, equity in the form of a

78% of the gross lettable area (GLA) located



Construction Resource Global Network

there, the value of the fund is spread more evenly with 58% of the value of properties located in South Africa. The 48 South African assets are valued at R3.5 billion with a GLA of 347,147m², while the 11 UK-based assets make up around R2.4billion and 93,956m² GLA. Morris attributes this to the company strategically targeting a combination of high-quality assets in the UK and a focus on acquiring larger assets in SA while disposing of the smaller non-core properties.

Strategy In South Africa Texton has focused on investing directly in income-producing properties that offer attractive income growth and capital appreciation. In terms

“Retail is an important focus area. Our retail is focused on the lower LSM, we look for centres with a high amount of footfall. Generally, a lower spend but a higher number of people spending.” Nic Morris, managing director


Specialist Bank


REAL ESTATE | Texton Property Fund

Diners Scott Street Club

Construction Global Network of location, the assets are currently spread across South Africa’s provinces, however, Morris explains the fund is consciously moving away from smaller outlying secondary cities and focusing on assets in the major metropolitan areas including Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. With South Africa experiencing an everincreasing population growth, there is an increasing lower and middle class population that are boosting retail spending. This trend has been an area of focus and Texton has and will continue to target retail assets servicing this segment of the population. By diversifying away from commercial office buildings and into industrial and

“We have increased our asset base by buying good, long term properties and we have reduced our exposure to underperforming smaller assets. Our growth has been organic as well as acquisitive.”

retail, Texton has specifically invested in properties in strategic locations on the basis of expected footfall or future infrastructure

CBD. It is a multi-storey retail centre targeting


the lower LSM and importantly it contains a college within the building which Morris says

“Retail is an important focus area for Texton.

creates an ‘established group of consumers’.

Our retail is focused on the lower to middle LSM in both SA and the UK, we look for

Texton’s investments in the UK further

centres with a high amount of footfall.

demonstrate its focus on high quality assets

Generally, a lower spend but a higher

in strategic locations. The recent acquisition

number of people spending,” says Morris.

of Reading’s Broad Street Mall, in a 50-50 joint venture with Tradehold, is a good

One of Texton’s primary South African


investments is Kempstar Mall, located in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. The retail

“Reading is a town that is now being included

complex is located on a commuter route,

on the Crossrail and has seen a huge number

next to a train station and Morris says it is an

of people moving into the area where

area which sees thousands of people passing

properties are more affordable. Crossrail

through every month. Another key retail

is one of the largest single infrastructure

investment which reflects the strategy is the

investments undertaken in the UK and the

Golddurb building in the centre of Durban’s

line will provide a high-frequency commuter



REAL ESTATE | Texton Property Fund

Diners Club and suburban passenger service that will

in GBP, with long triple net leases in excess

run via central London. We see this trend

of 10 years on average. Texton focuses on

continuing over time and believe the

A grade properties and avoids the trophy

increasing population will benefit our asset

assets of London which can be overpriced in

considerably,” explains Morris.

our view.

“The reason behind investing in properties

“We have increased our asset base by

in the UK was to strengthen the Texton

investing in quality properties with long

investment case through geographical

term leases and have improved our portfolio

diversification, and by providing exposure to

quality by reducing our exposure to

hard currency income streams in the form of

underperforming smaller assets. Our growth

GBP rentals, in line with Texton’s strategy.

has been organic as well as acquisitive.”

“We had the desire to get into a market

Morris has a clear idea of how to grow the

where you can buy long term income streams

investment fund in the future. The primary

with high quality tenants occupying very good objective is to streamline Texton’s portfolio assets. Our investment strategy is to target

and to establish equal investments in South

investments which yield greater than 6.5%

Africa and the UK with exposure to office,

Construction Global Network

retail and the industrial sector.

vacancies. The priority in South Africa is to rationalise the portfolio through non-core

“Our current SA portfolio has core assets,

disposals whilst continuing to acquire good

which we will retain over the long term.

quality properties in line with our strategy.

The smaller assets are non-core and will ultimately be disposed of, leaving Texton with

“We are happy with our position in the UK

a core SA portfolio valued at R3.3 billion.

and will continue to consider all opportunities that meet our investment criteria. We have

“The smaller assets are less than 10% of

seen huge amounts of deal flow in the UK

the value but can take up a large amount of

which bodes well for the future and our

management time, something which detracts

growth ambitions.”

from the team’s ability to manage the portfolio is the most efficient manner. “The next 12-18 months will be focused on streamlining the portfolio, increasing the average size of the properties in the fund, increasing our UK exposure and reducing




Advancing South Africa’s real estate sector through building quality assets

Construction Global Network

ATTACQ By Tara Mearsheimer




One of South Africa’s leading capital growth funds is changing the game for the country’s real estate sector. Attacq (JSE:ATT) not only delivers asset expansion to its investors through new holdings and developments, but the successful company has been able to build a strong and balanced regional and international portfolio of promising real estate projects. Attacq’s business model is focused around long-term sustainable capital investment through heavily investing and managing in land, developments and properties. Established in 2005, Attacq developed from the Atterbury Group. Attacq effectively owns 10% of Atterbury and holds a majority of its key assets in Attfund, an unlisted regional shopping centre fund. Since listing on the JSE in 2013, Attacq has grown substantially due to its proven understanding of the dynamic property market. Morné Wilken, Attacq’s CEO explained: “There are three reasons why we wanted to list on

A qualified industrial engineer with a broad

the JSE: we wanted to lift the company’s

range of experience in property development,

profile, create more liquidity for our

investment, finance and corporate

shareholders and we wanted to have access

restructuring, Wilken has been the head of

to capital for our specific pipelines.”

Attacq since 2011. Prior to this, he spent 10 years working in the property finance division

Resource Global Network 85 Construction Global Network

of First National Bank and Rand Merchant

Waterfall City is now home to the Mall of


Africa, the continent’s largest single phase shopping centre. Attacq’s evident capabilities

Wilken then headed Attacq’s development

are shown throughout the firm’s diverse

of the Waterfall Business Estate centrally

portfolio of completed properties and

located between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

valuable developments.


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Industrial Property Finance

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explained the group wanted to anchor the

Atterbury Group was founded in Pretoria

new city with a large mall situated right

in 1994 by Louis van der Watt and Francois

at its heart “We were in the position to

van Niekerk and is a leading property

construct one of the largest single-phase

investment and development business. It

retail developments as far as the mall

recently launched Atterbury Property Fund,

was concerned,” said van Heerden. “When

the investment vehicle for existing and future

it came to its position and accessibility to

Atterbury assets in South Africa, Namibia and

consumer markets, everything favoured the

Mauritius, with the mandate to build and grow

development of Mall of Africa.”

a high-end quality property fund. Atterbury’s vision for South Africa’s largest single-phase

The director, Atterbury’s team and the

shopping centre first started with the idea

building professionals ensured the mall

of creating a vibrant city centrally located

was energy efficient. “I think people have a

between two big cities.

responsibility to be weary of using natural resources,” explained van Heerden. “The cost

Cobus van Heerden, Atterbury’s retail director

of electricity in Africa is increasing and it’s


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Construction Global Network

important for any development be energy


efficient.” Aside from efficient electricity

Atterbury is one of the largest developers and

consumption, Atterbury also installed grey

investors in South Africa. “We are currently

water systems to cut down on the water

driving a number of mixed-use developments

usage. The group’s main objectives for

across the county,” explained van Heerden.

ensuring a sustainable, resource-efficient

“Atterbury Property Development’s ability

development are:

to deliver high-quality, large mixed-use developments is something we pride

• Using solar panels to improve its use of

ourselves on.”

alternative energy sources and reduce electricity consumption

Atterbury also has a particularly noteworthy

• Kick-starting ATV units in the morning

track record in retail property development. In

• The grey water system

addition to the Mall of Africa, the successful

• Circulating water residue, but also using

group developed The Grove Mall of Namibia

ground water that is naturally seeping

in 2014 and is currently working with local

through the ground with the irrigation

developer Safland Property Group to

systems around the mall

construct the ‘Dunes Mall,’ Walvis Bay’s


“What’s the most prized real estate asset?”

“A long-term partnership.”

As a Mandated Lead Arranger, Senior Lender, Hedge Provider and Facility Agent to the syndicated R3.25bn debt refinance transaction of Attacq’s retail property portfolio, we have once again shown our commitment to our clients. Let us be your partner for growth on this continent we call home.

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biggest mall in Namibia, which is expected to be competed in 2017. The group is also currently working on a 7,900m² retail convenience centre in Mozambique. The Pemba Retail Centre development is Atterbury’s first project in the country. It’s a joint venture with Tradehold Africa as part of Pemba Investment Company Limitada.

ATTERBURY EUROPE With its enormous success in South Africa, Atterbury decided to expand its operations abroad. The successful business launched Atterbury Europe, a new, high-level

“When we go into other countries, we partner with people with local knowledge. We put in more strategic input rather than actually trying to operate it ourselves.” Morné Wilken, CEO Attacq





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partnership between Atterbury and a group of

retail property assets across territories and

European investors. It will partner with JSE-


listed real estate capital growth fund Attacq Limited to tap into this market.

Atterbury Europe’s first landmark investment was in Cyprus in mid-2015, comprising

It invested in shopping centres and retail

55,000m² Mall of Cyprus located in the heart

developments across Europe, particularly the

of its capital, Nicosia, the 18,000m² Mall of

promising eastern European region adding to

Engomi, also found in Nicosia.

its growth strategy in the European markets. Shortly thereafter, Atterbury Europe joined Louis van der Watt, Atterbury Group’s CEO

forces with one of Serbia’s largest real estate

explained: “Atterbury Europe is a partnership

development companies, MPC Properties

designed for great things with our European

for a multimillion US Dollar joint venture in

investors’ excellent knowledge of Europe’s

seven Serbian shopping centres, including

retail and property markets, our European

the country’s largest mall, Ušće Shopping

partners’ unique local market insight and

Centre in the capital of Belgrade. Atterbury

Atterbury’s experience in delivering success

Europe has targeted Serbia and the Balkan


ADAMS & ADAMS ATTORNEYS – THE STRENGTH IN OUR NUMBERS Africa’s big league developers like Attacq count on the intellectual property, commercial and property muscle of our legal professionals for good reason.



companies represented by us

Fortune 500

South African owned firm with over a century of experience * Per ManagingIP 2015 & 2016 ** Per Top500 SA








One of Africa’s Best Managed Companies**



Offices / Associate offices across Africa


Patents | Trade Marks | Copyright | Designs | Commercial | Property | Litigation

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region as a key investment territory and is confident about the area’s development opportunities. “When we go into other countries, we partner with people with local knowledge,” explained van der Watt.

ATTACQ’S PROMISING PORTFOLIO Attacq and Atterbury launched Waterfall City in 2014, a mixed-use urban development city between Johannesburg and Pretoria where a large portion of Attacq’s South African retail, industrial and hotel investments are found.

“Atterbury is a financially strong partner

Wilken believes Attacq has a substantial

with a focus on new developments.”

pipeline in terms of Waterfall, adding that the

Atterbury’s plan for the future is

city’s main advantage is location due to its

to continue working on quality

strategic position in the centre of Gauteng,

developments locally, as well as driving

South Africa’s economic hub. “The advantage

developments in the rest of Europe. “The

is Waterfall’s location, we’ve got easy access

future vision for us is to create and build

and the free flowing Allendale Interchange,”

value in all the territories we operate for

said Wilken. “It’s quite easy for corporates

all our stakeholders,” added van Heerden

to consolidate in Waterfall City, the new headquarter destination of South Africa.”


Construction Global Network

Aside from Waterfall City, Attacq’s booming portfolio is composed of retail, industrial, hotel and office and mixed use investments across Africa and abroad. As of June 2015, the company’s assets totalled approximately US$1.5 billion. Its regional retail assets include: the $70.6 million Mooiriver Mall in Potchefstroom, the $70 million Garden Route Mall in George, the $62 million Eikestad Precinct in Stellenbosch, Pretoria’s $170 million Brooklyn Mall and The Grove Mall of Namibia valued at $82 million. In terms of emerging markets, Attacq focuses investments specifically on under-

“We diversify our risk by going into developed markets and new emerging markets.” Morné Wilken, CEO Attacq


Construction Global Network

traded retail in large cities. “We diversify our

which recently won the Best Convenience

risk by going into developed markets and

Retail Award, and Waterfall Lifestyle, a sport-

new emerging markets,” said Wilken. To date,

focused venue. Attacq’s industrial assets,

the firm has investments in Mauritius, Ghana,

all located in Waterfall, are composed of

Zambia and Namibia.

warehouses and facilities for businesses. Areas already established include: the

Attacq’s development pipeline is primarily in

international medical and safety technology

Waterfall, which includes the development of

innovator Dräger, technology distributor

PwC’s brand new office - Waterfall City’s first

Westcon, Cummins Global Logistics and

26-floor building within the thriving precinct.

the city’s first warehouse, where home

The $96 million project is expected to be

improvement retailer Massbuild is found.

completed in February 2018.


Other corporates situated in the precinct are

The biggest highlight in terms of quality

Premier Foods, Group Five and Novartis.

assets for Attacq’s portfolio in 2016 was the opening of Waterfall’s Mall of Africa in April. A

Its smaller retail assets are Waterfall Corner,

joint venture with Atterbury as the developer,





Construction Global Network





The mall provides up

The mall’s unique design was inspired by Africa’s geographical features and landscapes

The total construction area in Waterfall City is 550,000m2 - the size of 78 rugby fields

The Mall of Africa covers 130,000m2, the equivalent to 18 rugby pitches

the 130,000m2 development is South Africa’s

Group Five and Wilson Bailey collaborated

largest shopping mall. The total construction

in a construction joint-venture and built

area in Waterfall City is 550,000m2, the size

the mega-project into an iconic milestone.

of 78 rugby fields. Feasibly positioned along

Norval Wentzel Steinberg acted as surveyors

the Allandale Interchange, Wilken describes

while the principal agent for the venture was

the mall as Waterfall’s nucleus as it sits in the

GHC Brydens. During development of the

heart of Waterfall. Its chic design inspired

prestigious mall more than 4,000 of site and

by Africa’s historic landscapes was created

related jobs were created, 14,000 during shop

by MDS Architects. The mall’s construction

fitting and going forward more than 4,500

began in 2012 with funding from Nedbank CIB

direct and indirect permanent employment

Property Finance and equity through Attacq.

opportunities are secured.

GHC Africa acted as the project managers

There are five different sections to the Mall of

who provided optimal management expertise.

Africa, all with distinctive features inspired by

Construction Global Network


to 4,000 local jobs

The roof is made up of photovoltaic panels, providing 4.8MVA of sustainable power

The Mall of Africa is South Africa’s largest shopping mall ever built in a single phase

It houses over 300 individual shops including: Zara, Armani Exchange, H&M, Nike, Starbucks

African resources and regions. Forest Walk

patterns revealing Southern Africa’s

resembles the Congo’s rainforest in Central

extraordinary diamonds and crystals.

Africa with its roof that enhances natural daylight and its floor resembling the rainforest

Finally, it’s Oleum Court, or ‘Court of


Magnificent Oils’ reflects Western Africa’s trade and oil wealth. Interior designers used

Desert Court aesthetically reflects Northern

bold and vibrant colours to portray both the

Africa’s desert regions with designs exhibiting

region’s unrefined and refined oil.

traditional Berber patterns. The azure colours and patterns of its Court of the Great Lakes

The innovate development is filled with 272

were inspired by the Great Lakes of Africa

tenants including international brands such

– Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika. The mall’s

as Zara Home, The Kooples, Mango Man,

fourth area, Crystal Court recognises Africa’s

H&M, Versace and Armani Exchange. Its

mineral wealth with unique geometric

anchor tenants are Checkers, Edgards, Game

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Construction Global Network and Woolworths in addition to South African brands from The Foschini Group, Mr. Price and Truworths. A new 112 seater Ster-Kinekor complex cinema is situated within the mall, as well as an IMAX Theatre and a Cine Prestige 3D cinema. Its Town Square is filled with an array of dining options including Mediterranean dishes at Life Grand Café, drinks at Zuri Social Lounge, seafood at Ocean Basket or Hinterland Vleishandelaar for a steak dinner. South Africa’s second Starbucks has recently opened in the mall as well as doughnut and coffee retailer Krispy Kreme. The area’s most unique feature is the lush green Waterfall City Park, positioned alongside the mall in front of the PwC Tower. The inner city ‘green zone’ is filled with over 200 trees, eight interactive sculptures, three amphitheatres, a Wi-Fi interactive choreographed music fountain, bicycle and foot paths and a 490 metre ring road. “The park is around 1.3 hectares or the size of four soccer/rugby fields,” said Wilken. “Our intention is to effectively develop a city around it.” Wilken expects Waterfall’s precinct will be completed within 10-15 years.

AWARDS & FOUNDATION The company set up the Attacq Foundation aiming to give back to South Africa. “We want to uplift all levels of South Africa’s education system,” asserted Wilken.

“Atterbury Europe is a partnership designed for great things with our European investors’ excellent knowledge of Europe’s retail and property markets, our European partners’ unique local market insight and Atterbury’s experience in delivering success retail property assets across territories and continents.” Louis van der Watt, CEO Atterbury Property




Construction Global Network

The firm strategically partners with initiatives and organisations in the hopes of promoting quality education access. The Atterbury Trust, the Bright Kid Foundation and the Columba Leadership Academy, all beneficiaries of Attacq have exceeded $16,000 in donations. The foundation has also established an early

thus differentiates itself from its peers through a relatively new quality portfolio and the exciting Waterfall project, which he believes is the best located land in Gauteng. Attacq has managed to meet investors’ expectations, and the Attacq strategy with its offshore diversification, which is in excess of 24% in gross assets, is bearing the fruit and has managed to maintain its growth forecasts.

childhood development centre in Boksburg, funded 11 post-metric bursary students

“I believe Attacq is starting reap the benefits

and supports five schools in Johannesburg.

of its strategy.”

Attacq’s total contributions over the past two financial years are approximately $9.6 million.

Attacq has shown most of the growth for IPD and its income producing assets are

The exemplary group has won a multitude

performing exceptionally well at the moment

of awards including Best Developer, Best

according to the Attacq CEO.

Social Investment Project and Largest Property Developer including the prestigious

The company is currently focused on the

Investment Property Databank (IPD) Award for

long-term and wants to expand on their

best commercial and overall performer for the

diversification in other countries. “Our real

past three years (2008-2011).

vision is to create sustainable capital growth for shareholders and to become the premier

“What these awards truly show is exactly how greatly we manage our properties,” said Wilken.

FUTURE Wilken said Attacq is always open for new projects. Attacq is a capital growth fund and

property fund in South Africa.”


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PROPERTY | Broll Property Group

Celebrating 40 years serving Africa’s commercial real estate market

Wernhill Park shopping centre, Namibia

Construction Global Network




PROPERTY | Broll Property Group

Since founded in Cape Town in 1975, Broll Property Group has continually invested in the developing continent to become one of Africa’s leading real estate services companies. By the end of 2015, the group will have offices in 12 countries including South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. It has operations in more than 17 countries and managed assets valued at more than R165 billion, covering 21 million square metres of Gross Lettable Area (GLA). Broll specialises in commercial, retail and industrial property services, for both the investor and occupier markets, and is continually expanding its capabilities and depth of service delivery.

Malcolm suggests that Broll has managed to achieve such success, particularly in the last decade, because it has always been a trailblazer in the real estate sector. It has done this by continually reinventing itself to suit the ever-changing dynamics of the property sector, while enhancing value for its client base. “We were one of the first companies in Africa to start offering specialised services to multinational occupiers of space, where our traditional competitors were focusing on traditional services to the landlord market,” he says. “We experienced a growing trend of occupiers wanting to appoint a company to act for them as their independent professional service provider. This led us to create a business around occupiers of space, in which we develop their property strategy, ensure the strategy is successfully executed and even attend to their property administration needs. We have also experienced the maturing of the facilities management market, due to the need for professional, efficient and risk-mitigating

Broll’s evolutionary development and growth over the last 40 years is testament to its

strategies for investors and occupiers.”

people and clients, says Group CEO Malcolm

International affiliation

Horne. “When our company was founded in

Broll was the first African real estate

1975, we could hardly foresee our growth to

company to become formally affiliated with

become a recognised real estate company

an international multi-disciplined property

with a staff compliment exceeding 1,600 and

services company. The affiliate was no less

awards including Euromoney’s Best Property

than CBRE, the world’s leading commercial

Services Company in Africa in 2014 and

property and real estate services advisor. The

2015,” he remarks.

two companies concluded their affiliation

Resource Global Network 113 Construction Global Network


PROPERTY | Broll Property Group

“We needed an international partner to help us access international investor and occupier networks and to promote the many opportunities on the African continent. The synergy between our African network and [CBRE’s] international networks has been truly successful” Malcolm Horne, Group CEO

agreement in 2004, just as Broll was beginning to expand outside of South Africa. Broll’s affiliation with CBRE is a win-win arrangement, with significant benefits to both parties and their varied client bases. “We needed an international partner to help us access international investor and occupier networks and to promote the many opportunities on the African continent. The synergy between our African network and their international networks has been truly successful,” says Malcolm. “Broll has provided CBRE with access to African networks and intelligence that it didn’t have access to previously. As a large proportion of CBRE’s clients are interested

Construction Global Network

Malcolm Horne, Group CEO of Broll Property Group

in expanding into Africa, our understanding

Malcolm says Broll’s strategy has traditionally

of Africa’s diversity, challenges and

been to target English-speaking countries

opportunities have added immense value to

first, followed by French-speaking countries.

CBRE’s international service offerings to its

But the company’s recent entry into

prestigious client base.”

Mozambique was driven by client demand

African expansion

and opportunity.

The more confident Broll became of how

“We’d acquired the Finlay Property

to do business on the continent, the more

Management business with client base in

its African footprint grew. Adding to the

Mozambique and had some multinational

Namibian office it opened in 2003 – its first

clients with interests in the country, so we

outside South Africa – the group opened an

knew we had to open an office there to

office in Nigeria in 2004, offices in Ghana

service their needs,” Malcolm explains.

and Malawi between 2006 and 2007, and in the Indian Ocean and East Africa regions in

Broll Nigeria

2013. An office opened in Zambia last year

Broll has been especially successful in

and further offices will open in Mozambique,

Nigeria, where it has operated for more than

Ivory Coast, Uganda and Cameroon in 2015.

a decade. Broll Nigeria manages the awardwinning Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, and was



ranked number one overall in the Real Estate

He adds that Nigeria is still an emerging

Advisors and Consultants category in the

market, and that retail and commercial

2014 Euromoney Real Estate Survey Awards.

investors tend to focus on three areas of the country: Lagos, the business hub; Abuja, the

Bolaji Edu is CEO of Broll Nigeria: a multi-

capital; and the southeast, which is where the

disciplined service provider that is best

oil industry is focused.

known for its work in the development of Nigeria’s retail market. “We are the leading

Much of Broll Nigeria’s business is in advising

firm in Nigeria’s retail space, providing

large private equity firms that are developing

retail advisory, leasing and management,”

shopping malls. In addition to the Ikeja City

says Bolaji. “We also act as a commercial,

Mall in Lagos, Broll Nigeria also manages the

industrial and residential broker; provide

Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja and Palms Shopping

facilities management services for landlords

Mall in Lekki, among others.

and corporates; undertake valuations for international companies; and provide other

“The market for retail real estate in Nigeria is

real estate services and research.”

still very strong, despite a slight softening in recent months due to the depreciation of the

ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 117 Construction

currency,” Bolaji comments. “We’re still seeing “There is a lot of interest in Nigeria from a number of investors wanting to develop

FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods]

new malls, as well as wanting to develop

companies, but most of the warehouse

outside of the core commercial areas. At the

provision in Nigeria is 20 or 30 years old,”

same time, there are new retailers wanting to

Bolaji explains. “So we see a lot of demand

enter the market and a number of them have

from both local and international corporates

engaged us to advise them on the best way

in that sector, and a lot of potential.”

to do this.”

Local trends

He adds that real estate is one of the core drivers of economic growth in Nigeria, in

While retail remains a popular area for real

that it attracts foreign direct investment and

estate investment, greater opportunity may

creates local jobs.

now lie in the industrial sector. Bolaji says this sector is currently underprovided for, and

“Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa

that demand for warehouse-type facilities

and has a large population, the majority of

is growing in response to the government

which is younger than 20,” Bolaji remarks.

encouraging greater manufacturing activity.

“In addition, there’s a growing middle class


PROPERTY | Broll Property Group

Boljai Edu, CEO of Broll Nigeria

Construction Global Network

Festival Mall, Festac, Nigeria

within Nigeria’s population that is increasing

see dispersed retail spending across the

consumer spending power. So those are the

continent. Some of these markets are in

main reasons why companies, particularly

challenging times, but those with long-term

retailers, are not only investing in Nigeria but

visions will emerge as the real beneficiaries of

also using it as a hub for larger operations

the sector.”

across West Africa.”

Africa-wide trends

Retail growth is driven by investors, but Malcolm says the focus is now shifting to

Malcolm says he’s observed a trend for retail

the occupier side of the business, with

developments in other African countries

Broll’s occupier, facilities management,

as well – in fact, right across the continent.

research valuations and capital markets

“At the moment we have 53 retail schemes

services receiving a lot more interest from

across Africa, with roughly 1 million square

multinational companies either entering or

metres of retail space being developed,” he

positioning themselves on the continent.

remarks. As the property sectors of African countries “About 28% of that is in East Africa, 28%

have evolved, Broll has started to attract

in West Africa and 45% in southern Africa,

home-grown talent wanting to relocate back

most of that in South Africa. So you can

to their country of origin and work for a



PROPERTY | Broll Property Group

reputable company: one that assists in the

international standards. The Broll Academy

development and creation of property skills,

was created in 2001 with the aim of

which is one of the key constraints in the

developing skills in South Africa’s real estate

services sector.

market, which were in short supply following apartheid.

“Recently we’ve been attracting people who grew up in the local market, but went to work

Today, the academy provides training and

in New York or London to gain experience,

mentoring for staff across the continent

and as we promote employing local staff in

to ensure that all Broll employees –

all our operations across the continent this is

affectionately called “Brollies” – are skilled to

an encouraging trend,” says Malcolm. “I think

a uniformly high standard.

it’s fantastic, because it’s bringing skills back into Africa.”

Continuing to grow Earlier this year, Broll diversified its

Broll provides excellent training for its

service offering by launching a specialist

employees – particularly since its affiliation

auctions and investment sales business for

with CBRE necessitated the introduction of

commercial, industrial, retail and hospitality

Construction Global Network

real estate. It was launched to fill a gap in the

territories, but linked to that, we will

market for a credible and ethical auctions

be looking at opening further offices

business, as well as to increase Broll’s market

in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and

share in the investment sales sector.

investigate Ethiopia, Cyprus and Benin in response to client demand. The long-term

“There are further services being investigated

vision is to fully internationalise the business,

and we expect some innovative new services

and we’re working on the execution of that

to be launched within the group, adding

strategy at the moment.

value to our client base, within the next 12 months – a healthy sign for a continually

Over the last 40 years, Broll has become one

developing continent and business,” Malcolm

of the best real estate companies in Africa


based on a sound value system of respect, integrity, service and excellence, by always

“The primary focus going forward will

putting the client first. We continue to offer

be bedding those new businesses down

the best-in-class service in all aspects of our

and ensuring we share the right skills

business, and are proudly African.”

and delivering the right services in those




Construction Global Network




With a history dating back to 1949, John Holland has become a household name in large scale, highly complex Australian construction projects. Built on the foundations of longstanding client relationships, a focus on safety and the endeavour to deliver high quality projects on time and on budget it is no surprise that John Holland sets the benchmark for Australian infrastructure, rail and buildings engineering. The company has gone through three major phases of ownership, formed and run by Sir John Holland until 1991 when Janet Holmes à Court’s Heytesbury Pty Ltd acquired the firm, then in 2000 Leighton Holdings became the majority shareholder and the size of contracts John Holland could attract ballooned, signified by winning the AUS$2.5 billion EastLink rail project in Victoria. In 2015 John Holland was bought by China Communications Construction Company International Holding Limited (CCCI), a global construction giant and whollyowned subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC). John Holland CEO Joe Barr says the latest Today John Holland has work in hand of

acquisition puts the construction firm in good

$5.5 billion and can be delivering anywhere

stead to continue to deliver on Australia’s

near 100 projects at any given time – it

most significant infrastructure construction

has become a leviathan in Australian

and engineering projects as the investors


come with significant capital, a long term strategy and a cultural alignment.

Construction Global Network

“The culture of John Holland is a long and

is always handy but one area that is very

proud one and to me it makes a difference

pleasing is that the Chinese have a very long-

on how you deliver it. I’ve been really pleased

term view and they are very culturally aligned

with what I have seen in the company [CCCI],”

with the John Holland brand even before [the

Barr notes.


“It gives us an edge in terms of capital which

Although starting in Victoria, John Holland has




Construction Global Network

gone on to deliver projects in every state and

Barr says this approach provides a unique

territory working in all environments from

ability to give the clients exactly what they

the arid deserts to the metropolitan urban

need, “We’ve got an ability to be very client

centres. Under the new ownership Barr’s

focused in those areas. The executive general

remit is to promote the brand internationally

manager’s primary task is to create work for

and build up the portfolio in Asia, focusing

the group and therefore they have to have a

primarily on Singapore providing technical

very good ability to connect with clients and

expertise on large rail expansion projects.

understand what innovation we can bring to the table in those three areas.”

In order to maintain a customer focus, one of the company’s key values, each regional

It is the focus on delivering the highest

business unit is split into a self-sustaining

standards to the client which has resulted

profit/loss business. So each state manager

in Joh Holland going beyond the mere

in effect is running an individual business

construction phase and becoming an ‘end-to-

under the John Holland name. In addition

end’ service provider. The company website

the three key divisions; infrastructure, rail

reads that John Holland offers a ‘total service

and building are run by executive general

solution, participating in every link of the

managers focused on reading the market and project lifecycle from origination, financing bringing in major project work.

and development to design and construction, operations and maintenance’.




ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 129 Construction In the case of the rail business a turnkey

bolstered by the continual delivery of projects

solution would see the company construct

on time and on budget which engender a

the rail infrastructure, lay the tracks, deliver

sense of trust that company will do what it

the civil aspects such as the tunnelling ad

says it is going to.

underground work and then take on the operation and maintenance of the project

“The advantage is we don’t have a vast array

after construction.

of clients, certainly with infrastructure and rail, and therefore we know their business

“What that gives us, and the value it adds to

stories well. It gives us certainty but more

our clients, is that we are able to deliver the

importantly it gives them certainty with who

clients that use the service which in this case

they are dealing with and the fact we know

is the passengers.

their business,” remarks Barr.

“The more we understand what the client

John Holland is currently working on the

wants and what we need to build instead of

Mernda Rail Extension project in Melbourne

just handing over to somebody who might

for the Victoria state government. The $600

lay the track or maintain it, the more we can

million contract entails the construction of

understand the nuance of each different

nearly 8km of new rail line between South

phase and vertically integrate them. It gives

Morang station and Mernda, five grade

us more control from a delivery point of

separations and building new stations at


Mernda, Marymede and Hawkstowe.

Barr stresses that a key factor in the end-to-

The project will facilitate significant

end service is the reduction of risk through

population growth in North Melbourne

less players being involved in the project.

thanks to the improved travel access and

John Holland has more control over the

Barr says he’s proud the project will create

delivery and can manage each phase in-

hundreds of jobs in time. However, as

house and keep up a constant two-way

well as delivering rail infrastructure there

dialogue with the client to ensure the final

is also the requirements for the auxiliary

product meets the specification the client

construction around the stations, including

originally set out.

car parks, walkways and cycling paths and Barr stresses how important it is to consider

When you are working on projects of the

the community who will use the service when

size John Holland does, it is important for

you are design a project of this scale.

the client to know they are dealing with a responsible and highly qualified contractor.

“All these things are really important in terms

John Holland has longstanding relationships

of how you deal with the communities and

with state governments that have been

how you build them. Your team is there to



do a job but you have all the stakeholder

In partnership with the state government

interfaces, as all the physical buildings, which

John Holland is creating a new development

make the project more acceptable.”

consisting of a hotel, mixed use buildings, residential space, a living precinct, gardens

Another major project John Holland has on its and an arts and cultural space surrounding books is the redevelopment of the Old Royal

the new hospital. For a development of

Adelaide Hospital site in South Australia.

this size the company has to consider the

The contract is worth over $1 billion dollars

urban planning side in terms of how the

over the next eight to 10 years and it is

buildings work with each other and how the

part of a newly established Development &

community will use them once they are built,

Investments Group.

its more than simply putting the building blocks in place.

“The development & investments is looking at large scale projects that we can use our

One element that is consistent in the

development skills and the capital we have

contracts John Holland delivers, whether they

[from CCCI] to put into a project to create a

are international in Singapore or more locally

new space,” explains Barr.

in Adelaide, is the use of local contractors and local teams.

Construction Global Network

Barr explains that it is crucial to partner

network to tap into state government user

with local experts who know the climate,


the regulatory environment and the local community.

“We worked through all these groups and as much as possible tried to understand [what

Specifically on the rail project in Singapore

they wanted] because there are the written

while the company has the expertise in how

requirements of what they want but also the

to deliver the project on the engineering

nuance of understanding how we are going

side, it will use a localised business which

to deliver it as well.”

understands the labour market, the planning requirements and the health and safety

Creating work and jobs for local companies


is at the fore on the contract for the WestConnex project in Sydney as well, a 7km

Talking about the Adelaide project Barr

extension of Sydney’s M4 freeway as part of

explains, “Although John Holland had done

a $2.7 billion contract over four years. The

sizeable work before in Adelaide we still

extension requires tunnels, bridges and new

worked with a local developer who was


respected in the community and used that




Construction Global Network “There’s a lot of communities that we pass,

mega-projects in Victoria and New South

we have to demolish houses and we take

Wales. There is Melbourne Metro system,

over complete areas so we need to have that

worth around $6 billion and Barr is hoping

stakeholder and community involvement,”

to win the contract for a $2.3 billion network

Barr stresses.

of tunnels in Sydney. For the CEO the main focus of the next year will be to secure those

“But as a general principle we know that

contracts, despite heavy the competition

to be successful we need to have the right

from other big industry players, while efforts

engagement. Therefore, direct engagement

will also be made to grow the development

with the communities and engagement with

and asset management arms of the business.

our clients is key and a big part of our brand.” Particularly on the train networks Barr wants John Holland has been named the preferred

to embed the company with the operating

bidder for a major $5 billion tunnels

and maintenance of commercial train

project to widen the West Gate Freeway in

networks – John Holland already manages

Melbourne from eight lanes to 12.

the Country Rail Network in New South Wales and the MTM system in Melbourne (in a joint

The contract will be undertaken in a 50:50

venture with MTR from Hong Kong).

joint venture with CPB contractors and Barr says the joint venture won the project due

“We want to be growing that area of our

to the outcome it could provide for the

business, not only with relation to rail but


water as a key area. We do a lot of work with Sydney Water and Melbourne Water and

“Our solution features urban design with

what we want to do as a business is manage

strong Indigenous elements, as well as high

those assets for the client too.”

social and environmental value. Our leading edge use of intelligent transport technology

With the backing from CCCI supported by the

will provide improved driver experience and

Chinese firm’s long term strategy for John

operational effectiveness,” he said.

Holland the company is primed to continue to win and deliver on the major infrastructure

“We are looking forward to working with

projects shaping Australia in the coming

Transurban and the Victorian Government on


this vital piece of infrastructure.” As well as continuing to deliver on the contracts already in progress Barr has big targets for John Holland over the next year. The company is bidding on a number of



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Group Five is a diversified construction, infrastructure concessions and services group ersified construction,

cessions and services group

Our Projects business unit offers our clients seamless multi-disciplinary structural, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and piping construction services. The projects we manage range from power, energy, mining and industrial to plant maintenance and shutdown services.

seamless multi-disciplinary structural, mechanical, uction services. The projects we manage range from t maintenance and shutdown services.

Contact us: Group Five Projects (Pty) Ltd 9 Country Estate Drive, Waterfall Business Estate, Jukskei View, Johannesburg I Postnet Suite 500, Private Bag X26, Sunninghill, 2157, South Africa I Tel +27 10 060 1555 I Vax +27 86 206 3885 I Email I Website

41 construction, Group Five is a diversified infrastructure concessions and services group 1974 – 2015

years as a listed company

Our Projects business unit offers our clients seamless multi-disciplinary structural, mechanical,


electrical, instrumentation and piping construction services. The projects we manage range

kei View, Johannesburg I outh Africa I Tel +27 10 060 energy, 1555 I from power, Website

mining and industrial to plant maintenance and shutdown services. 1974 – 2015 years as a listed company

Contact us: Group Five Projects (Pty) Ltd 9 Country Estate Drive, Waterfall Business Estate, Jukskei View, Johannesburg I Postnet Suite 500, Private Bag X26, Sunninghill, 2157, South Africa I Tel +27 10 060 1555 I Fax +27 86 206 3885 I Email I Website


CONSTRUCTION | Georgiou Group


High-level construction services delivered with pas



Construction Global Network



CONSTRUCTION | Georgiou Group

Celebrating its 40th year in operation, Georgiou Group began life under the name Direct Drainage in 1977 with just nine employees. Dealing predominately with water infrastructure, the company grew steadily over the next decade and a half, and in 1993 started a precast company called Geocrete, followed closely by an earthworks and roadworks company called Roadpave a year later. In 1998, founder Peter Georgiou appointed his son John as CEO and under his direction, the three businesses merged to become what is today known as Georgiou Group. Some 20 years later, Georgiou remains at the helm and has guided the company into its position as a leading Australian civil and building construction company.

‘Your partner in construction’ Involved in various civil and building projects from conceptualisation and design to construction and on handover, Georgiou Group’s entire ethos is built around knowing its client. “Most of our work comes from local, State and Federal governments to public companies and the key to successfully

Construction Global Network



CONSTRUCTION | Georgiou Group

“Some of our clients hav as long as the busines know them well, and kn and pressure John Georg

delivering on these projects comes down to

on a consistent stream of projects in areas

knowing the client,” explains Georgiou.

such as public infrastructure, transport (road and rail), water infrastructure, mining, oil and

“A large percentage of our work today is from

gas, urban regeneration and development,

repeat clients, some who have worked with

building construction and precast.

us for as long as the business has existed so we know them well, and know what their

After building a strong track record of

drivers and pressure points are. Each job is

delivery in Western Australia, Georgiou’s

different, so knowing our client helps enables

focus went national with the establishment

us to be proactive in our approach.”

of offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and more recently, New South Wales. Indicative of the

Over the years, the company has built its

company’s sheer growth, it capitalised on

reputation as a dependable presence in the

economic buoyancy to take its successful

construction industry. This standing in the

business model to a new audience.

sector has allowed Georgiou Group to take

Construction Global Network

ve worked with us for ss has existed so we now what their issues points are.” giou, CEO


they undertake ie. building, infrastructure

Georgiou Group’s diverse capability is the key

and precast. Employees are subsequently

to their versatile approach. At any one time,

grouped into different business units, which

the company may be working on a multi-

define what type of work they do.

storey commercial building along with a civil bridge project and the manufacture of 80T

“I’m a big believer in passion for the job.

bridge beams - jobs which essentially require

Engineers love to build things, but the team

very different skillsets. So how does Georgiou

that builds a bridge or tunnel is very different

Group maintain and deliver consistently

to a team that builds a residential building or

high-class results across a broad range of

commercial building,” notes the CEO.

projects? “Part of the reason we’ve split the business The answer lies in the company’s internal

is to put people within their capability and

structure. The company is split into business

passion. It’s a combination of what you’re

units depending on skillset and the work

passionate about and where your skills are.



CONSTRUCTION | Georgiou Group In saying that, we have built our reputation around our capability so the more complex, technically challenging projects are now being delivered by multiple business units. For example, our Aubin Grove Train Station project involved all three and it was this diverse service offering that separates us from our competitors.” Despite the recent slowdown in the mining sector, Georgiou’s diverse capability has enabled the company to temporarily shift away from mining-related construction and focus on government infrastructure projects. Georgiou Group’s current portfolio extends across a host of projects which are under construction or have recently been completed. Notable developments include the recently-opened Aubin Grove Train Station, the Scarborough Beach Redevelopment, Northern Road Upgrade, Liv Apartments and Warrego Highway Project.

Aubin Grove Train Station A few years ago, the government of WA approached Georgiou Group and tasked them with the complex job of constructing the Aubin Grove Train Station, south of Perth. Located in the median strip of the busy Kwinana Freeway, the project brought with it a number of unique challenges. “The train station is the first island rail platform to be constructed in a live operating environment in WA,” says Georgiou.

ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 143 Construction “In addition, we had a very tight schedule and had to build around a live rail track while not disrupting rail or road traffic throughout construction.� Georgiou was engaged on the project under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) in 2015, with the AUS$72 million development recently opened in April 2017. Construction centred around a multi-modal station, a car park of approximately 2,000 bays, six bus feeder services, bicycle facilities and various other passenger amenities.The project also included a road upgrade in the shape of widening the Russell Road Bridge to cater for increased traffic which will arrive with the new station. Throughout the ECI phase, Georgiou found strategies to construct both projects (Aubin Grove Train Station and Russell Road Bridge) simultaneously while still achieving the timeframes in the challenging project environment. Challenges faced on the project included working between two live and fully operational 22kV train tracks, a fast and relentless programme (with over 70% of the station works scheduled activities being either critical or within two weeks of critical), heavy lifts for station elements, footbridge and bridge beams over electrified rail and freeway, severe space constraints (7.8m wide and 150m long), the risks associated with working adjacent to rail lines, limited freeway closures, immovable dates set 14 months prior and complex stakeholders interfaces.

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Construction Global Network

Complex wouldn’t sum up this project.

front north of Perth in WA, a project valued at $50 million.

It involved innovative thinking on Georgiou’s behalf, precise decision making,

Similar to the Aubin Grove Train Station,

a collaborative relationship between

the renovation of the beach at Scarborough

Georgiou, its client PTA and Main Roads WA,

involved a few hurdles which the company

detailed planning at all stages of the project

had to overcome. The planning process was

and finally, outstanding leadership and

particularly lengthy, with Georgiou Group

management in project delivery.

taking a very proactive stance in this stage of the development.

The Aubin Grove Train Station will support the growing communities in Perth’s southern

“Our involvement at this point centred on

suburbs, with over 3,900 daily boardings

questions we posed and answered such

expected at the new railway connection.

as what is the best way to do the work,

Scarborough Beach Redevelopment

what sort of methodology will be followed and what materials will be used,” explains Georgiou.

Georgiou Group is also in the process of redesigning the iconic Scarborough beach

Furthermore, as there was existing



CONSTRUCTION | Georgiou Group infrastructure already in place at the beach front, along with people living in and around the area, Georgiou had to prove its credentials for this challenging type of work. In this case, the client knew the company was able to handle the work well as it had worked with Georgiou Group on Elizabeth Quay – a redevelopment project located in the heart of the Perth CBD. The redevelopment at Scarborough is expected to continue through until early 2018, with demolition, service and drainage installation work being followed by pavement construction, soft and hard landscaping works and carpark reconfiguration in the area. New building work in the area also covers the construction of a new surf club and a skate

focuses on consolidating the firm’s position in

park, along with a number of other buildings

WA, but also building its business on the East

and facilities.


“Scarborough Beach is an iconic landmark for

Citing Queensland’s improved economy

West Australians so to be able to deliver the

compared to WA’s sustained reliance on

redevelopment and rejuvenate this area is

the mining industry, Georgiou outlines his

a great honour for Georgiou,” highlights the

company’s short-term goals.

man in charge. “Our strategy is to further grow our brand Consequently, as Georgiou Group looks

and our capability in Queensland and NSW.

to deliver outstanding results at its Aubin Grove Train Station and Scarborough beach

“Georgiou is a big brand with a diverse

redevelopment projects, the company

service offering, and there are current

continues to focus heavily on its growth on

opportunities with various upcoming

the East Coast.

infrastructure-related projects that suit

East Coast expansion Georgiou’s strategy looking to the future

us perfectly. Our opportunity lies in pre-qualifying for projects that suit our capabilities.”

Construction Global Network

On the year of the company’s 40th

currently being developed into a cultural

anniversary, it is a time for reflection across

programme, which will provide employees

the company. Determined to leave behind

with the five pillars that drive success in the

a legacy beyond just growing as a business,


Georgiou points to the development of a distinct company culture centred around its

“When I retire, I would like to think that if


you were to ask our employees what our core business principles were, they would

“I know it’s a cliché to say people are

be able to clearly articulate this and how

everything, but I think a lot of our success

they operationalise them. This is where

comes from how we develop our own people

the cultural side of the company will shape

and nuture their growth from a young age.”

company legacy after I pass on the reigns of Georgiou Group down the line.”

The firm’s graduate and cadetship programmes are crucial to this process of creating organic Georgiou Group employees who are immersed in the company ethos. The company’s core business principles are


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Building Perth’s newest community develo



Construction Global Network




Western Australia’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) is developing the Yagan Square project, aiming to be Perth’s most popular community, meeting and celebration location. The project is vastly complex with flanks of different elements including restaurants, a unique digital tower and the open community spaces for performances and events to cater for up to 8,500 people. MRA wants to create a place that will be unlike anywhere else in the city and to do that it had to bring on a contractor with a track record in delivering complex buildings and landmark projects.

“We are one of Western Australia’s largest privately-owned construction companies, we operate in every key sector and it’s that diversity that allows us to adapt to fluctuating economic cycles and underpins our success. “We try not to be too heavily embedded into any particular sector, we prefer to be diverse which allows us to adapt to those cycles. That diversity and also the diversity of our clients has driven our growth and kept us sustainable and profitable.” Doric acts in a variety of capacities on different projects depending on the contract. It goes from construct only projects, to line construction projects to managing contractor. There are many variants of the procurement models the company operates under. Richard Willis-Jones, Doric project manager,

Established in 1989, WA construction firm

observes that it is the relationships Doric has

Doric Group has developed a broad portfolio

nurtured with major clients by continually

of complex, large scale and outstanding

delivering large projects on time and on

buildings across the state. The company is

budget that put the company in the position

not scared to take on projects in all manner

to win the Yagan Square contract. Willis-

of sectors, from infrastructure upgrades

Jones points particularly to Doric’s history

to support the Australian Navy at HMAS

of delivering major projects for state

Stirling or building accommodation villages


at a number of WA’s resources projects to a variety of shopping centres, hotels,

“Our relationships and reputation certainly

residential buildings and public spaces.

come into it,” Willis-Jones explains. “To a large extent, our track record of delivering

Pre-contracts manager Justin Taylor

state projects certainly helped us to win the

highlights how the diversity in the company

contract to deliver Yagan Square.”

has led to prolonged success across the boom and bust nature of WA’s economy.

In early 2015 Doric submitted an expression of interest to the MRA as part of a publicly

Construction Global Network




Yagan Square, aerial overview, May 2015

Yagan Square, aerial overview, November 2016

Construction Global Network

advertised process, it was then shortlisted

and play areas for children and Doric will be

to tender with four other contractors, and

providing construction services across the

then things moved quickly. The tender was


submitted in June 2015, the MRA selected Doric in August of that year and the final

Doric is contracted for construction only

negotiations were concluded by November.

but the MRA has brought on board design

Construction began soon thereafter.

consultants who have worked closely with Doric to ensure the final product is an

Taylor and Willis-Jones both agree it was a

accurate representation of the concept

great achievement to win the contract for


Yagan Square due to the complex nature of the project and the unique, bespoke items

Doric will construct a number of buildings,

that will be involved in construction. Based

structures and areas with different uses

on the concept drawings it will be a special


site once fully built. • Sub-structural and basement areas over As mentioned the development will include

approximately 2,700m².

a range of public spaces, a market hall with a variety of food offerings, cafes, green spaces

• Market Hall including food and beverage





Connecting Western Australia

Yagan Square, Perth City Link - Commercial Sector





EC No. 007256

Construction Global Network

tenancies, mezzanine space, office and

In addition to the construct-only elements

control room and associated back of

Doric will take responsibility for the design

house facilities and public amenities over

of the piling, façade, balustrades, glazed

approximately 2,685m².

artwork and earthing and bonding. The five separate components will require design,

• Northern Bar across three levels of bars

engineering, construction, installation and

and restaurants over approximately

commissioning and Willis-Jones states that


adds extra considerations to the already complex project.

• Rooftop restaurant and associated amenities of approximately 480m².

The project is being built on top of three commuter railway tunnels which required a

• Landscaped areas including amphitheatre,

huge amount of engineering and planning in

upper deck, shade canopies, playscape

close collaboration with the Public Transport

and water features with integrated art.

Authority, the owner of these critical assets.

• William Street mall.

With such a large project incorporating so many moving parts it is crucial there is open

• Digital tower with LED screens and control equipment.

dialogue between all the parties involved.




Doric is working very closely with the MRA’s

to deliver the highest quality development.

consultants on Yagan Square to ensure the project delivery is of the highest standard and Once all the construction is completed Doric Doric is always looking for ways to improve

and its sub-contractors will work closely with

the process.

the tenancy fit-out contractors to coordinate their fit-outs with the base building works

“The design has got a lot of architectural

and ensure the commissioning stage goes to

intent, but sometimes that doesn’t get


laid out exactly the way it was originally intended,” explains Willis-Jones. “There is a

Major construction works commenced in

lot of coordination between us and MRA’s

early 2016 and the project is expected to

consultants, including our sub-contractors

be completed by the end of this year. Willis-

adding their experience when required.”

Jones says while it is quite a tight timeline for a project of this size it is Doric’s prerogative

Doric’s sub-contractors are playing key roles

to make sure everything goes smoothly and

on the project. Crown Construction has

Yagan Square is on time and on budget.

completed all the form work, Fremantle Steel is critical in providing steel fabrication and

“It’s our business to deliver on time so we

there are many others who are helping Doric

are working extremely long hours, as are our

Construction Global Network

sub-contractors. We are doing whatever we

complete the landscaping and the façade.

can so the target is still on for completion at

While the buildings are nearly up and the

the end of this year,” stresses Willis-Jones.

internal finishes are being applied it is the common areas and external touches that will

The main structure at Yagan Square is

take the majority of the focus moving into the

beginning to form and now the extremely

final phase of construction.

complicated shape of the building is beginning to be visible. There are very few

Both Taylor and Willis-Jones emphasise

straight faces on any side and the curved

how complex the delivery of Yagan Square

slabs, different angles and layered effect add

has been and will be, but also how proud

to the difficulty of construction.

an achievement it will be for Doric and the MRA to deliver an outstanding landmark

Willis-Jones says, “As a finished form it will


flow very nicely but trying to understand it on the drawings has proved quite tricky.

“I want to reiterate the complexity of the

Now the structure is in place you can really

project and the bespoke items. It is pretty

appreciate its scale and different elements.”

unique in that regard, there aren’t many projects that have this many elements,” notes

The major work left at Yagan Square is to

Willis-Jones. “It’s great being involved but it




has taken a lot of planning to make sure all

The WA economy has been rocked by the

the materials are procured on time.”

downturn in global commodity prices. The mining boom of the early 2000s created a

Taylor adds, “We have a reputation for

wealth of construction opportunities for

delivering complex buildings but even with

Doric but, on the whole, new projects have

that track record this project will stand out as

slowed down especially in the mining and

a landmark project. We will be very proud of

resources sector. However, despite the

it and I’m sure the MRA will be as well.

depressed environment for mining, Taylor notes that the pipleline for commercial

“It’s complex, it’s difficult but at the same time

construction projects in the state remains

once it’s finished it will be very interesting

healthy particularly for sectors such as

and one of those developments you don’t get

defence, high-rise apartments, age care,

to deliver too often.”

hospitality and retail.

Construction Global Network

“We see opportunities in those sectors and

economic conditions. The fall out of that

we look forward to pursuing them. The

is more wealth, more projects and more

industry is tough at the moment, but among


all of that we have managed to position ourselves quite well so we look forward to

“We look forward to the resources sector

growing and delivering new work and new

rebounding because it will be good for us and

projects,” Taylor says a mining revival would

the public in general.”

provide a boost for the industry. “When we see commodity prices rise we will start to see new resource projects being generated which creates more confidence in the market, more certainty and better



DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE | Bollig Design Group


Construction Global Network

Creative and contemporary designers transforming Australia’s infrastructure



DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE | Bollig Design Group

Bollig Design Group’s talented designers have been transforming Australia’s infrastructure since 1959. The Perth-based multidisciplinary design company is made up of creative architects, master planners and innovative interior designers who use their unique skills to create a wide range of projects across the country. From governmental sector works, health and education buildings, community facilities and major commercial developments including office, industrial and retail buildings, the team of 18 integrated design disciplines continue to exceed client’s expectations.

Throughout every project, the firm’s ultimate objective is for their work to be a cost-neutral exercise for the client by adding value to each project. The group focuses exactly on the client’s needs – whether it is the integration of design disciplines, saving the client capital costs, creative solutions, or simply originally designed developments, Bollig makes it happen. This approach has led to repeat clientele and additional work expanding their portfolio each year. Bollig Design’s style is very much contemporary and as a general rule, the group doesn’t do heritage works. The creative firm are predominately contemporary designers, but work internationally as well as nationally. According to Bollig, what happens in New

The dynamic firm’s portfolio consists of

York City doesn’t necessarily work for

US$500 million worth of developments in

Perth based on the different populations,

diverse projects, from the head offices of

construction techniques and climactic zones.

the world’s largest independent exploration

“It’s about designing for locality, climate and

and production company – ConocoPhillips

environment,” said Bollig. “Finding what is

(NYSE:COP), to the interior design of the

locally suitable and balancing the trends.”

$6 million Saracen Estates Winery in the Margaret River in Western Australia.

The design industry’s current emphasis is on the importance of sustainability. Architects

“We assess the project, the need, the skill

are continuing to focus on buildings that use

base available and the ability to design

less energy, that require less maintenance,

a project in a creative, cost effective and

buildings that actually pay back. This tends

efficient manner,” said Edwin Bollig,

to be extremely important to the broader

managing director of Bollig Design Group.

industry as a whole, particularly at the

“Our goal is always to exceed our client’s

government level with the promotion of

expectations, not just meet them.”

sustainability initiatives.

Construction Global Network



DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE | Bollig Design Group

Construction Global Network

Diverse portfolio

an award winning project. It’s simple and

The innovative firm’s portfolio consists of a

unique design won Bollig a commendation

range of different projects. “Our projects vary in Commercial Architecture at the Western – it’s what really keeps us interested in what

Australian Architecture Awards in 2009.

we’re doing,” explained the founder. Bollig designed Conoco Phillip’s 6,600m² Petroleum

One of Bollig’s most sustainable projects is

Headquarters in Perth, combined with 2,000

the Cockburn Integrated Health and Civic

m² of landscaped parkland, the project is

facility which includes over 7,000m2 of office

valued at $20 million. Bollig also recently

and medical space, a Library, 220 car parking

completed the $300 million dollar Bankwest

bays, bicycle bays, end of trip facilities and

Office tower and associated retail centre with retail tenancies. integrated underground railway linkages. The sustainable building design includes The group’s architects designed the

orientation, passive and active solar design

functional and cost effective buildings with a

features, natural ventilation, a 100KW solar

simple exterior consisting of glass, aluminium array providing free energy from the sun and and steel. Bollig Design Group’s interior

it is designed to 5 star Green Star and 5 star

designers converted the Augusta Margaret

NABERS rating and a reduced operational

River Civic Centre in Margaret River into

carbon footprint. “Every time – every



DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE | Bollig Design Group project we do is bespoke,” said Bollig. “It’s a different project, a different solution, a different outcome.” “Architecture is about human beings producing product and using their intellect and intelligence to produce a better and unique product every time,” adds the founder. “That’s what the difference is between buying a house off the shop and using an architect.” Bollig has provided full-architectural and urban design services on 1 Seddon Street, a unique site found in the centre of a Subiaco city. It is approximately 10,000 m² of office space and 1,100m² of retail which will also create a new urban and retail hub in Subiaco. The company is also working on the $13 million Angove Street Apartments & Retail in North Perth, Rocky Bay’s new headquarters in Mosman Park, as well as library and community facilities for several government authorities.The vast majority of Bollig’s projects are tendered and the founder explained the company is fortunate to have a good cross-section of builders to work with, especially in Western Australia. The only difficulty is the isolation, in that materials can take time to arrive. “A lot of materials are on a 10-12 week lead time from overseas because people keep a very low stock level these days,” said Bollig. “If they do have stock, it’s usually on the east coast.”

ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 169 Construction


DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE | Bollig Design Group

Construction Global Network

Speed of change and choice

difference to the way we design buildings,” explained Bollig.

Over the past 20 years, the design industry has changed substantially and Bollig

“The next 20 years is going to be extremely

believes the biggest changes have been

exciting for the industry because of the speed

the integration of new technology and

of change and choice.” The company’s main

the concept of sustainability. Technology

goal for the future is to grow its affiliations

is continuing to make engineering and

with east coast companies and grow the firm

designing much simpler.


In terms of design and manufacturing

“It has various projects in the pipeline for the

potential and the application of 3D printing,

future, but the founder explains that Western

the founder believes the future is looking

Australia is currently going through a tough

better because of new materials that

period as it comes out of the mining boom

are starting to become available in the


marketplace. “The future is looking great from the industry viewpoint.

“During booms it’s all about production – make it happen as quickly as possible and

“Smarter systems that have come out due to computer improvements, software and control mechanisms and the reduction in price and access to that technology including photovoltaics - solar power has made a huge

now we actually have to be a little smarter.”



APPOINTMENTS Steve Coleby appointed new managing director of Lovell UK-based home builder Lovell has named Steve Coleby as its new managing director, replacing Jonathan Goring in the role. Coleby is a veteran of 24 years with fellow UK construction firm Laing O’Rourke, where he worked as MD for UK infrastructure before eventually becoming commercial director for Europe and Middle East. Morgan Sindall (Lovell’s parent company) chief executive John Morgan said Lovell would benefit from Coleby’s ‘knowledge in both building and infrastructure’.

Linesight USA expands service offering with director of project management appointment Linesight USA has appointed Damien Coffey as director of project management in a move which forms part of its growth strategy in the US market. Coffey will drive the offering of end-to-end solutions for clients in the US, and has worked for the multinational construction consultancy since 2004. “We see real potential to build upon our success in the USA,” said Coffey. “

Network Rail takes on Mike Putnam in non-executive role Network Rail, the owner and manager of the UK’s railways, has made Mike Putnam a non-executive director of the board. Putnam is a chartered engineer, fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers and was most recently president and CEO of Swedish construction giant Skanska’s UK division. “I welcome Mike who will bring valuable engineering experience to the board,” said Network Rail’s chair Sir Peter Hendy. Putnam will commence his new role from January 8th 2018.

Michael Wright steps into CEO and MD roles at CIMIC Group Global contractor CIMIC Group has promoted Michael Wright to chief executive officer and managing director after former CEO Adolfo Valderas left to join ACS Group. CIMIC’s executive chairman Marcelino Fernández Verdes said: “He [Wright] has experience across our disciplines of construction, mining and services.” Wright is a civil engineer and first joined CIMIC Group in 1998.

Construction Global Network

EVENTS Ecobuild March 06-08 2018 London UK Sydney Build Expo 2018 March 15-16 2018 Sydney Australia The Global Infrastructure Congress April 02-03 2018 Dubai UAE The UK Infrastructure Show April 17 2018 Birmingham UK The 2nd Africa Construction Summit May 2018 Munich Germany

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