Shaka Momodu writes on Julius Berger’s audacious acquisition of Bilfinger Berger’s subsidiary, Julius Berger International of Weisbaden, Germany
At its recent annual general meeting, Julius Berger announced that it had bought over Bilfinger Berger subsidiary, Julius Berger International of Weisbaden, Germany. That announcement was a rare piece of good news for the company’s investors and it opened a new frontier of opportunities and possibilities and new revenue streams for its shareholders. It was one of the cheery tales that the company’s shareholders took away from its AGM held last month at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
According to AVM Mohammed Nuruddeen Imam (rtd), the company’s chairman, while the company’s project portfolio in 2011 remained robust, “we must also recognize that there was a slowdown in project acquisition within the public sector, as a result of the Presidential Election and the transitional period thereafter. In addition, increased security concerns put pressure on investment decision of potential clients. Despite these circumstances, Julius Berger was still able to maintain a consistent level of turnover and lower operational costs.
This accomplishment is a result of efficiencies in the consolidation of resources and the successful implementation of a diversified business strategy, which mitigates cluster risk and allows Julius Berger to serve all sectors of economy. The fact that Julius Berger is and remains a leader in its field of endeavour is not by chance. Each and every day, there are challenges to the continued success of our Company and it is only through effective risk assessment, pro-active management and the efforts of all our staff that our Company continues to prosper.”
The company also announced a dividend payout of N2.40 per share as against N2.00 pay out per unit share it paid in 2010. Although its turnover in 2011 stood at N169.41 billion, it was a three percent decrease on its 2010 performance. Yet, interestingly, its retained profit increased, an indication according to the company, that its consolidation efforts have positively affected the company’s efficient utilization of resources. The company has a total share unit of N1.2billion.
On the business outlook for 2012, the chairman was equally optimistic: “the rapidly developing nation has immense opportunities in the private sector and scope for growth for downstream industries. These prospects, which are in line with diversification targets of the federal government, are attracting not only Nigerian, but also international investors. This is supported by several visits of European diplomats, including the German Chancellor.
“Such investors are looking for a dynamic partner who can deliver expert work to global standards, who is able to meet their demand for quality within the necessary time frame and who has Nigeria specific know-how. Our goal is to be the first choice contractor for such potential clients and the Julius Berger Group’s business model, including a logistical partner in Germany, makes this goal possible.
“2012 has already been a year of action. The evolution of our Company’s structure has been initiated by the transfer of 10 percent of Bilfinger Berger SE’s shares to a strategic Nigerian shareholder. Additionally, the decision to acquire a majority stake in the business of Bilfinger Berger Nigeria GmbH in Germany, along with the strengthening of our brand, solidifies the foundation for our market leadership and the consolidation of the Julius Berger Group.”
No doubt Julius Berger is Nigeria’s most prolific construction company and the most reliable and profitable. Despite the tough economic environment Julius Berger is still the company of choice for quality construction and timeline of delivery. With a history of delivering perfectly designed and engineered buildings, including administration, commercial and industrial buildings, hotels, hospitals, airport terminals, sports facilities and even entire residential areas.
According to the company, “the development of such turnkey buildings requires close collaboration and partnership between Julius Berger and its client, especially when a fine balance must be reached between architecture and engineering. “
The annual general meeting helped lower some corporate inhibitions and offered a glimpse into the faces behind the success story.
AVM (RTD) Mohammed
Nuruddeen Imam is the Chairman of Julius Berger. He was commissioned as a Cadet and reached the rank of an Air Vice Marshal in the Nigerian Air force. He attended staff College Jaji where he was awarded a Diploma in Military Science (Psc). He further attended the Air University, USAF, Montgomery, Alabama, USA where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Military History and Political Science (Usawc). In the course of his military career he was awarded the military Honour of Forces Service Star (Fss). He served the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council from 1985 to 1989.
Dr. Imam served as Honorable Minister of Mines, Power and Steel and later Honourable Secretary of Power and Steel until August 1993. He has been the Chairman of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC., since September 2, 2008 and has been its Director since January 11, 1999. He owns and operates various businesses in the finance/securities, oil and gas, real estate and telecommunications industries. He served as a Director of Oasis Insurance Plc and Afribank Nigeria Plc. He currently serves as a Director of Mainstreet Bank. He is an accomplished Air Force General and Aeronautical Engineer.
He has received a National Honour Award of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR). Dr. Imam is a graduate of Air University United States Air War College and attended several engineering professional courses in the U.S, U.K, The Netherlands, Egypt and other countries. He is a member of the Nigerian society of Engineers.
He is also the Chairman of the Bayero University Kano, the Monuments Group of Companies Limited and the Development Board and Board member of the Governors of Dowen College Lagos and the Prime College Kano.
He is the vice chairman of the company, a German national and holds the equivalent of a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the Advance Technical College, Koblenz, Germany. He Joined Bilfinger Berger SE in 1974 and has worked on a wide range of projects both nationally and internationally. He was seconded to work with Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in October 1983 to handle the Layout and realization of Abuja, the Federal capital Territory as the seat of Government in Nigeria. He is Managing Director of Bilfinger Berger Nigeria GMbH in Wiesbaden, Germany
He was the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc from January 1 2009 till December 2000. He was appointed a Director on September 5, 2008 and Vice Chairman on December 8, 2009.
He is the managing director of the construction giant. An Austrian national, he holds the equivalent of a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University, Innsbruck, Austria. Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria
He Joined Julius Berger in1991 and was appointed a Director and Managing Director on October 15, 2007. Since his appointment as Managing Director, he has steered the company to execute many important contracts and boosted the company’s profile. He loves to play the beautiful game and manages to take time off his busy schedule to play with friends.
He is a German national and holds a diploma in Business Administration and accounting from the Mannheim Academy, Germany. He joined Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in 2000 as a commercial manager he held various positions thereafter before he was appointed Director and Financial Director on September 22, 2010, with the responsibility for finance, general administration, accounting and investment functions of the company.
HRH Igwe Peter Nwokike Anugwu
He is the Justice of the Peace and traditional ruler of the ancient Mbaukwu Kingdom in Anambra State. He is also a member of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and the Elders Council of Anambra State.
He is a holder of various congressional Honours, proclamations and keys from several cities in the United States of America and a director of the board of directors of the World Conference of Mayors. He was also conferred with the national honour of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He holds a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering from the School of agriculture Umudike, Abia State
He was appointed to the board of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc as a non Executive Director on May 2, 1996. He is also a board member of Intafact beverages Limited
He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State. He holds a bachelor of engineering degree in Civil Engineering. He is a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Council for Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). He joined Julius Berger Plc in 1988 and worked in various capacities before his disengagement for public service in 1999. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007.
He was appointed a Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc on august 16, 2007. He is also the Managing Director of Elm Properties and Estate Development Company Limited and a board member of NETCOM Africa Limited.
Macdonald Olarinde Tubi
He is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio, USA with a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising Design. He holds a Master’s of Science degree in communication from the Ohio University of Athens, Ohio, USA and a Masters of Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource management, USA and the Philadelphia Human Resource Planning group, USA. He was formerly the Human Resource Director at Pfizer INC, Nigeria and North America. He is currently a managing Partner of bailey Cole Consulting Nigeria Limited and was appointed a Director on September 26, 2011.
Harold Samuel Tsumba
He is a graduate of University of Ife Ile-Ife which is now Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. He is a Legal practitioner called to the Nigerian bar in 1975. He has worked State Counsel for the Benue State Ministry of justice, markudi and he is currently the principal partner in the in the Firm of Tsumba & Tsumba, Legal Practitioners, a firm he established in 1978. He has served on various committees established by the government of Benue State of Nigeria
He was appointed to the board of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc as a non Executive Director on December 8 2011. He is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Taj Holdings Limited and West Africa Limited
Dr Ernest Azudialu
Dr. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu, President/CEO of Nestoil PLC and Group Managing Director of the Obijackson group, is an accounting graduate from the University of Benin. He has dramatically positioned his company as a dominant player in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector. Within its two decades of existence, he has expertly piloted the affairs of the Group with amazing focus and drive. Azudialu recently took the Nigerian business community by surprise when he acquired 10% equity in Julius Berger. The sale of the Berger shares to Nestoil reduced Bilfinger Berger’s investment in JBN to 39.9% from 49.9%, effectively making Nestoil the single largest Nigerian shareholder in Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. Following which he was appointed a director of Julius Berger in March 2012.
Within the past few years, Nestoil Plc (the flagship of the indigenous conglomerate known as the Obijackson group) and indeed the entire Obijackson group dramatically elevated its cognate corporate profile in the past year, when the Nestoil–led consortium known as Neconde Energy Limited acquired 45% participating interest in OML 42, a massive oil block in the swamps of Niger Delta. This major asset (one of the biggest in the recent Shell divestment drive) with nearly 1 billion barrels of crude oil and trillions of cubic feet of gas was disposed of by Shell/Agip/Total from its Joint Venture with NNPC after a rigorous and spirited competitive bid.
Another subsidiary of the group, Energy Works Technology Limited, is an emerging leader in Pressure Vessels, Process Plant Equipment and Oil and Gas Steel Structures fabrication in West Africa also offering EPCC services.
Energy Works has installed and commissioned an ultra modern construction facility capable of fabricating 17,000 metric tons of steel per annum. A Mega Factory, It is equipped with: 130mm thick capacity Plate Rolling, 300mm thick capacity modern CNC Plate cutting with Plasma, Semi Automatic Welding, 316 Stainless Steel Weld Overlay, Overhead lift of up to 100 Tons.
With several millions of US Dollars so far invested in People, Process and the Facility, it is positioned as the best in the industry. Energy Works is UKAS ISO 9001:2008 certified as well as ASME U, U2, PP, S Stamps Authorized.
Energy Works within two years has transformed from a light duty fabricator to a major industry stakeholder. This has effectively elevated it to the exclusive league of world class pressure vessel manufacturers and major steel structures fabricator.
The group’s foray into the power sector has led to the emergence of Time Power Global Dynamics Limited and Century Power Generation Limited, engaged in electricity distribution and generation respectively.