Michigan GC sells 50% share to global construction leader

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Dive Brief:

  • Michigan general contractor Sorensen Gross announced this week that Christian Comair, chairman of Qatar-based GET Engineering & Contracting, has acquired a 50% interest in the company.
  • GET, which has more than 7,000 employees and focuses on $1 billion-plus complex military and megaprojects, will be an equal partner with Sorensen moving forward. Rabih Zahnan will step into the role of president and COO, replacing Richard Sly, who has retired. The remainder of Sorensen’s leadership team will remain as is.
  • Sorensen CEO Ghassan Saab said that Comair, who is also chairman of the PIMA Group, which encompasses 18 companies in Europe, the Mideast and North America, has a history of building “tremendous businesses that are truly powerhouses in construction and real estate” and that the new partnership will advance Sorensen’s goals of growth and industry leadership.

Dive Insight:

In addition to its headquarters in Michigan, Sorensen also has offices in the Washington, D.C., area and its specialties include commercial, industrial, educational, medical, municipal and multifamily construction and construction management. Sorensen’s past jobs include:

There are no details about the dollar value of the Sorensen/Comair deal, but the industry has seen other major international purchases of and mergers with U.S. construction companies in the past.

In 2016, The Lane Construction Corporation announced that it had made a deal to merge with Italy-based Webuild, formerly known as Salini Impregilo. At the time of the announcement their combined sales were more than $6.4 billion. Lane specializes in large civil, industrial and infrastructure projects and is one of the contractors currently building the $2.2 billion I-4 Ultimate highway addition in Orlando, Florida.

In 2014, in its quest to become a Top 50 U.S. construction company, China Construction America, a wholly owned subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering Corp., acquired New York City-based Plaza Construction. In April 2014, the two had combined contracts totaling more than $3 billion.

And in 1999, German construction services company Hochtief acquired Turner for a reported $370 million. At the time, Hochtief said that Turner was the second-largest contractor in the U.S. Today, Turner is ranked as the No. 1 contractor in the U.S. with almost $15 billion in 2019 revenue.

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