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FCC Wins $700 Million Subway Contract In Qatar : Also Divests Outdoor Advertising Subsidiary For $110 Million


(L-R) Doughter Esther Alcocer Koplowitz and mother  Esther Maria Koplowitz

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Last week the Spanish international engineering and construction giant Fomento De Construcciones Y Contratas, or FCC, announced it had won a new contract award to build part of yet another new subway line, this time in Doha, Qatar.

FCC is already leading a consortium contracted to build three brand new subway lines for the city of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, under an US$8 billion consortium tender there.

The winning consortium for the new Doha project, which is led by FCC’s Citizen Services Group, also comprises Archirodon (Greece), Yüksel (Turkey) and Petroserv Ltd. (Qatar). This will be FCC’s first major project in this Arab Emirate.

The project value is about US$700 million (Euros 506 million), the section of line will take 31 months to build and the project will create more than 1, 000 jobs.

To win the tender, the FCC-led consortium had to beat out other substantial groups, including from Korea, Germany, Italy and India.

FCC today seems to be building subways all over the globe. Next month, the group will inaugurate the first line of the Panama City Metro, which it has built at a cost of over US$1.3 billion (Euros 1 billion). Other international metro projects executed by FCC include the new Toronto Spadina Subway Extension in Canada, and a new section of line for the Bucharest Metro in Rumania. In Spain, the company is currently building the metro in Málaga and also line 9 of the Barcelona Metro.

This new contract is one more step in the right direction for FCC as its Chairman and CEO Esther Alcocer Koplowitz, the daughter of controlling shareholder Esther Maria Koplowitz, who became the company’s Chairman almost a year ago, continues to successfully implement a radical restructuring of the heavily indebted company.

In addition to the new Doha subway contract, FCC also announced, just yesterday, yet another asset divestiture as part of the company’s overall ongoing debt reduction programme. Selling assets serially to reduce debt is a very tough task but FCC seems to have the bit firmly between its teeth now and seems to have organized itself to get the job done, even in difficult economic conditions – which can affect realizable values significantly.

Accordingly, FCC said yesterday it has reached an agreement to sell Cemusa, its outdoor advertising subsidiary, to JCDecaux for about US$110 million (Euros 80 million). This transaction is part of the group divestment plan aimed at further reducing FCC’s debt.

Juan Béjar, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of FCC said of the divestiture, “This deal represents progress in our commitment to reduce debt by about US$3.7 billion (Euros 2.7 billion), of which about US$3 billion (Euros 2.2 billion) will be through asset sales”.

Cemusa is a leading Spanish company in the design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of outdoor advertising. It operates in 160 cities in five countries and enjoyed revenues of about US$195 million (Euros142 million) in 2013.




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