Murray & Roberts has sold its 50% shareholding in the Bombela Concession Company to Budapest-based Intertoll International Holdings B.V. for R1.3 billion.
Bombela is the company responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the Gautrain under a concession contract that will expire in March 2026.
The deal was announced late 2022 by the 2 companies, and Murray & Roberts advised its shareholders on Tuesday that it has gone through.
Murray & Roberts said it would use the cash to repay liabilities, with the aim of reducing the company’s debt to under R1.4 billion.
According to Intertoll, the acquisition expands its business outside of Europe, and doubles the group’s revenues. On top of that, it adds diversity to the group’s investment portfolio.
“Intertoll will look to grow their business in the rail sector further worldwide over the next few years, assisted by the experienced management team and references from the Bombela project,”
In 2017, Murray & Roberts increased its shareholding in Bombela to up 50% after it acquired an additional 17% stake for R405 million.
When the concession company was launched, Murray & Roberts initially held a 25% stake, which they increased to 33% in 2011.
In 2016, following a dispute with the Gautrain provincial government that led to a R1.3 billion settlement, French construction group, Bouygues, and Canadian train & aircraft builder, Bombardier, divested from Bombela and both agreed to sell 8.5% each to Murray & Roberts.
The remaining balance of their shareholdings went to empowerment vehicle Strategic Partners Group and J&J Group via subsidiary Sound Plans Trading, held by a shelf company called Calshelf.
In the end, Strategic Partners Group held 38%, while J&J Group owned 12%.
Murray & Roberts’ investment valued the Bombela Concession Company at R2.4 billion. During that time, the company said it expected the investment to provide strong returns in the short to medium term.
Using the disclosed sales price to Intertoll of R1.386 billion, Bombela’s current valuation is just under R2.8 billion — 16% higher than in 2017.
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