Temasek’s Surbana Jurong acquires Australia’s SMEC

The $300m merger will result in the formation of one of the largest urban and infrastructure consultancies in Asia.

Surbana Jurong, an urban and infrastructure consultancy owned by Singapore's Temasek, has acquired a 100 percent stake in Australian rival SMEC for about S$400 million ($298 million; €266 million). 

The two companies will be merged to become a consultancy group with a workforce of almost 10,000 employees across 40 countries in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. It will also be one of the largest urban and infrastructure consulting firms in Asia, with the ambition to become the largest one based in the Asia Pacific region, Surbana Jurong said in a statement. 

In addition to liquidity available for funding and financing projects, Liew Mum Leong, chairman of Surbana Jurong, said that technical expertise in urbanisation and asset development will be key to boost infrastructure in the region. According to a report by PwC, infrastructure spending will grow from $4 trillion per year in 2012 to more than $9 trillion per year in 2025, of which 60 percent will be in the Asia Pacific market. 

Described as “timely and opportunistic” by Liew, the merger will combine SMEC’s experience in large infrastructure projects in the urban transport, energy, and water sectors with Surbana Jurong’s expertise in urban planning, township and industrial development, the companies said.

SMEC was formed in 1949 to undertake New South Wales' Snowy Mountain Hydroelectric Scheme, a large-scale integrated water and hydroelectric power project. It later developed lifecycle consultancy services ranging from feasibility studies and detailed design through to construction supervision and commissioning.  

The Melbourne-based firm, formerly a Commonwealth Government-owned company, was sold to employees in 1993 as part of a government asset sale.