The UAE’s Arabtec Holding and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering have officially formed a new joint venture company that aims to become the region’s leading engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

The two contractors formed the new joint venture on 24 September after a signing ceremony at Samsung Engineering’s headquarters building in Seoul. Speaking at the event, Park Choong Heum, Samsung Engineering’s president and chief executive officer (CEO), explained why he was keen to establish the new joint venture company with a regional partner. “The scale of business in the Middle East and North Africa is getting bigger and bigger, and local content is becoming more important,” he said.

Arabtec says Samsung Engineering is the right partner at the right time, as the joint venture company will give the UAE firm access to large-scale EPC projects, a market it has not worked in before. “Samsung Engineering has 20 years of experience, a clear track record, so [the decision to partner with Samsung] was simple,” said Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, managing director and CEO of Arabtec Holding.

The new company will be called Arabtec-Samsung Engineering and will be headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Arabtec will hold 40 per cent of the new company, Samsung Engineering will have a 40 per cent share, and Abu Dhabi’s Tasameem will hold the remaining 20 per cent.

Arabtec and Samsung both announced their plans to form the new joint venture in April this year, when they signed a memorandum of understanding. At that time, the intended shareholding involved Arabtec holding a 60 per cent stake in the company and Samsung holding a 40 per cent stake. While the shareholding subsequently changed, the management structure remains the same, with Arabtec providing 60 per cent of the management.