Aecom sells civil construction unit to leave risky contracting behind

US engineer Aecom yesterday announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell its civil construction business, which includes contractor Shimmick Construction, to Oroco Capital, an infrastructure investment company based in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The transaction is expected to close in January 2021, once administrative and regulatory details have been settled.

The Los Angeles-based engineer bought Shimmick for $175m in 2017; its sale price was not disclosed yesterday.

In February, Aecom completed of the sale of its management services business to two private equity firms, American Securities and Lindsay Goldberg, for $2.4bn (see further reading).

This latest move is part of Aecom’s strategy of improving its financial performance by exiting the general contracting market in favour of higher-margin consultancy.

Troy Rudd, Aecom’s chief executive, commented: "The announcement of the sale of our civil construction business, together with the sale of our power construction business in October, represents a significant milestone in advancing our strategy and focusing our efforts on our higher-margin and lower-risk professional services businesses.

"Our outlook is bright as we bring together our company under our Think and Act Globally strategy, which includes transforming how we operate through the digital delivery of our work and focusing on growing our professional services businesses."

On Tuesday this week, the company announced that it had been picked to provide civil engineering design for Sydney’s $2.6bn Gateway Road Project, a 5km toll-free connection from the recently opened St Peters Interchange to Sydney airport, Port Botany and beyond. 

Image: Aecom is aiming to turn itself into a high-value professional services company (Pavel Nadelyayev/Dreamstime)

Further reading:

Aecom completes sale of $2.4bn management services business

Rumours circulate of merger between WSP and Aecom

Aecom announces board changes following chief executive’s retirement



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