Murray & Roberts Sells Carriage and Wagon Business To CTE Consortium

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VENTURES AFRICA – The CTE Consortium has acquired the Union Carriage and Wagon Company (UCW) from Murray & Roberts, for an undisclosed amount.

Announcing the deal today, Murray & Roberts highlighted that the company hopes to re-focus its business and assets on the construction and engineering industry, thus explaining its disposal of the carriage and wagon business; while the CTE Consortium -which includes Commuter Transport Engineering (CTE) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – is ideally placed to take the operations forward thanks to its rail-oriented expertise.

“We are pleased with the transaction and believe that it reaffirms our core focus on construction and engineering, part of our overarching Recovery & Growth strategy,” commented Henry Laas, Group Chief Executive of Murray & Roberts.

“We are excited about the future prospects of rail infrastructure, manufacturing and engineering in South Africa, as CTE and UCW are ideally positioned to take full advantage of these prospects, as it is our core focus. Our unified strengths will enhance critical production capacity required to execute on Government’s rail infrastructure objectives,” added Patricia Norris, founder and Chief Executive Officer at CTE on behalf of the Consortium.

CTE was founded in 1999 as a rail coach refurbishment company, and was the first black woman-owned company to enter the rail refurbishment sector in South Africa. The company has collaborated with IDC – public finance institution with a focus on promoting growth and industrial development in South Africa – on occasions before, the IDC having provided start-up capital to CTE at its inception.

Commenting on the new deal, Abel Malinga, IDC Executive for Mining and Manufacturing said: “The IDC’s participation in the deal is in line with the corporation’s strategy of localisation. The infrastructure capex programme provides a window of opportunity for rejuvenating the country’s industrial base through rebuilding industries that have declined over the years – thus assisting to prevent de-industrialisation of our economy.”

The Consortium hopes that the deal announced today will contribute towards improving efficiencies and services provided to customers, while also driving turnover by re-aligning business units and spurring growth.