French and German firms to benefit from Qatar's World Cup building plans

07 December 2010

Doha now holds major stakes in Vinci and Hochtief

Construction companies that Doha has invested in are expected to be the prime beneficiaries of the building boom leading up to the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar.

Qatar is a major investor in two of Europe’s largest construction companies, France’s Vinci Construction Grand Projets and Germany’s Hochtief. Vinci worked on stadium projects for the 1998 World Cup in France and Hochtief worked on stadium projects for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Qatar plans to build nine new stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.

The Hochtief investment was finalised on 6 December, four days after Qatar was awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. The deal involves Qatar Holding acquiring a 9.1 per cent share of Hochtief, and with the government-owned investment vehicle saying that the German construction group will be help development infrastructure for World Cup.

“Hochtief and Qatar Holding have an existing strong partnership and this transaction cements our relationship with one of the key trading partners for the development of the infrastructure of Qatar ahead of the World Cup in 2022,” says Ahmad Mohamed al-Sayed, managing director and chief executive officer of Qatar Holding.

Hochtief already has a presence in Qatar. In April 2009, it confirmed that it had won a construction works contract on the Barwa Commercial Avenue project in southern Doha. Barwa Real Estate Company is the client. It was also part of the contracting consortium engaged on the proposed Qatar Bahrain causeway before the scheme was put on hold in June 2010 (MEED 11:6:10).

In February 2010, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company has taken a large equity holding in Vinci as an exchange for the transfer of France-based technology firm Cegelec. The deal stipulates that Qatari Diar will maintain a 5-8 per cent interest in Vinci for at least three years.

Qatari Diar and Vinci are both currently working on infrastructure projects that will support the World Cup. The largest scheme is the Lusail real estate project to the north of Doha, which involves the construction of residential buildings and a tram. The two companies were also part of the Qatar-Bahrain causeway consortium.

Qatari Diar also has a relationship with Jeddah-based Saudi Binladin Group. In March this year the two parties signed a strategic partnership for upcoming construction and infrastructure schemes.

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