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Mon September 27 2021

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Laing O’Rourke sells Australian sleeper business

7 Aug 18 Laing O’Rourke has agreed the sale of Austrak, its concrete rail sleeper manufacturing business.

Vossloh will buy the business, which provides sleepers to the rail industry across Australia. The purchase price of the transaction as of the closing date is expected to amount to AU$50.5m and could increase to a maximum of AU$54.5m over the course of the next two years, depending on business development.

Austrak was founded in 1982 and has been fully-owned subsidiary of Laing O’Rourke since 2006. it has produced more than 22 million sleepers for projects including the route from Alice Springs to Darwin; iron ore railways in the Pilbara for BHP, Rio Tinto and FMG; as well as suburban and freight lines in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Austrak has several production facilities in various Australian states. In the 2017/18 fiscal year, which ended on 31 March, Austrak generated sales of AU$52.3m. Vossloh said that it believes that the market will offer good growth opportunities over the next few years, particularly in view of significant mining projects in Western Australia as well as major infrastructure projects on the East Coast.

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Laing O’Rourke’s Australia Hub managing director Cathal O’Rourke said that the sale marked a positive step for Austrak’s future. “We are confident the organisation will benefit from the integration into a broader rail products business that is committed to growing its manufacturing operations in Australia and internationally,” he said.

Andreas Busemann, CEO of Vossloh, said: “The acquisition of Austrak is another important step in our growth strategy. With this transaction, we are expanding our portfolio in Australia in the area of rail tracks and laying the foundation for synergies for both our customers and Vossloh.”

Closing of the deal is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2018 following merger control clearance by the Australian authorities.

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