Laing O’Rourke offloads Australian sleeper business

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
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Laing O’Rourke has sold its Australian concrete rail sleeper manufacturing business for around £30m.

Austrak was founded in Australia in 1980, and since 2006 has been a fully-owned subsidiary of Laing O’Rourke.

It is the recognised industry leader in the provision of concrete sleepers to the rail industry across Australia having produced more than 22m sleepers.

This included supplying some of the country’s most complex and demanding railways such as Alice Springs to Darwin, iron ore railways in the Pilbara for BHP, Rio Tinto and FMG, as well as suburban and freight lines in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Last year it generated sales of £30m.

German rail infrastructure giant Vossloh is buying the business, subject to regulatory approval.

Laing O’Rourke’s Australia Hub managing director Cathal O’Rourke said the deal marked a positive step for Austrak’s future.

He said: “We are confident the organisation will benefit from the integration into a broader rail products business that is committed to growing its manufacturing operations in Australia and internationally.”

A spokesman for Vossloh said: “In the next few years, the Australian market will offer good growth opportunities for Vossloh, particularly in view of significant mining projects in Western Australia as well as major infrastructure projects on the East Coast.”

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