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By Kylie Scott
January 14, 2019
With investments in two prominent Australian builders, Japan’s Kajima Corporation aims to build a tier-one Australian construction company with the merger of the pair in 2019. This new firm is expected to boost prospects for Australian contractors aiming to reach the global market.
The expansion started with Kajima Corporation having a successful, majority stake in Melbourne-based residential and commercial company, Icon. The Corporation then went on to acquire a 70 per cent stake in another company—social infrastructure specialist, Cockram.
The joining of these companies will bring together the contacts, capital and expertise, leveraging their capabilities throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the United States. Founded in 1840, Kajima Corporation is one of Japan’s oldest and largest construction companies in Japan. With annual revenues hitting $21 billion, Kajima will easily enable both Cockram and Icon to win bigger contracts both in Australia, and overseas.
Both Cockram and Icon have niche industry skills that Kajima intends to nurture. Icon has established a reputation for premium and prestige projects in the commercial and residential sectors. Cockram, on the other hand, is a specialist in social infrastructure projects. With decades of experience building for western clients in the Asia-Pacific region, Cockram will fill a lucrative gap in Kajima’s portfolio.
China Invests in Australian Builder
Another successful venture, which saw an overseas company purchase an iconic Australian Building Company, involved John Holland Group.
Melbourne-based John Holland Group was purchased by China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) in 2015 for $1.15 billion. In the two years following the acquisition, John Holland won tenders amounting to $23 billion worth of work, predominantly for key public infrastructure projects.
A representative from John Holland has confirmed that the financial backing from CCCC, has enabled them to get involved in projects that previously would have been beyond its financial abilities.
CCCC has kept John Holland's management back in Australia, where the company is involved in major rail-tunnel projects in both Melbourne and Sydney. However, while the company operates in Australia, they also bid for work in southeast Asia.
Australia an Attractive Investment
Looking at the bigger picture, Australia’s economy has continued to outperform its peers for the past twenty years, and it is achieving continued success in global industries.
These international accomplishments are testament to Australia’s stable organisations, abundant natural resources, dedicated services sector, and the ability to adapt to changes in the wider economy. In an uncertain world, Australia has repeatedly proved to be a safe and secure option when it comes to investment and business opportunities.
Asia continues to look to Australian resources to help power its growth and productivity and to Australian firms—for wealth management, healthcare, education, tourism and professional services.
Longstanding ties with the Asian region has helped Australia to prosper. The country is a long-term supplier of natural resources to the region, as well as a trusted provider of clean, green and safe agricultural products and premium food.
Overseas’ Projects Recognized
With the Australian construction sector listed as one of the largest contributors to the economy, it's only fitting we recognise those who excel in overseas delivery. Each year, Master Builders Australia acknowledges excellence in the building and construction industry through its National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards. One such award is for National Export.
The Awards night was held in Adelaide last month, and Convic was awarded the prestigious National Export Award for their overseas project delivery in the Middle East, New Zealand and Singapore.
Convic, founded in 2002, was set up by friends and business partners Simon Oxenham and Cameron Melville. In the 18 months that followed, the company expanded rapidly, delivering extraordinary projects across Australia. Before long, Convic Design was an award-winning business, and international markets beckoned as enquiries came through for their services in Asia. And as they say, the rest is history.
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