South African engineering and construction-projects company, Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd, is evaluating a United States (US) oil and gas acquisition in a bid to transform itself into an international operator specialising in underground mining, oil and gas, and power and water projects.
The mining-industry division has units operating in Australia, South Africa, Canada and the US, and the next step will be to extend the geographic reach of the oil and gas business, which operates primarily in Australasia, chief executive officer Henry Laas said in an interview.
The company is doing due diligence on a potential target in the US that would add the ability to construct oil and gas projects in the world’s biggest economy, Laas said. While the value of that transaction won’t be “too material”, the company will probably be looking for a larger, international deal in a few years’ time, he said.
First it needs to resolve outstanding claims related to its work on the Dubai International Airport and the Gautrain rail project linking Johannesburg and Pretoria. It’s hoping to recover at least a combined R1,5 billion ($104 million) from the two cases, Laas said.