SMEC South Africa

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Media Release

13 June 2012

Vela VKE has joined the SMEC Group

Australian based global engineering consultancy firm SMEC, and highly-successful local South African engineering consulting firm Vela VKE have strengthened their standing in South Africa and the wider African market, by joining forces in a merger.

On 13 June 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa SMEC formally announced its merger with Vela VKE.

SMEC CEO Ross Hitt comments: "SMEC is honoured to be partnering with such an award-winning company that has a great industry profile, a strong base of valued clients and a high calibre of 1,000 committed employees working throughout South Africa and in other SADC countries. The addition of Vela VKE represents another significant milestone in the achievement of SMEC's growth strategy. Vela VKE will greatly assist SMEC's African Division to further develop the depth and breadth of its services, and is expected to increase revenue significantly in the 2012-13 financial year and beyond. We have had a presence in East and Southern Africa for over 30 years we will now be one of the major consulting firms operating throughout most of the African continent."

Hitt highlights the fact that SMEC is committed to ensuring the partnership with Vela VKE is a success from an employee, client and company perspective. "Effective from July 2012, SMEC has commenced detailed planning for the integration of the two companies. This is an exciting time for Vela VKE employees, who will join SMEC's growing African Division and become part of the wider SMEC family," he continues.

Dr Thomas Marshall, Vela VKE CEO and recently-appointed Chief Operating Officer for SMEC's Africa Division comments that SMEC's substantial investment in Vela VKE demonstrates confidence in the future growth of infrastructure initiatives in South Africa and Africa generally. "As a SMEC Group company, Vela VKE will be serving the interests of existing and new South African clients, through the provision of high-end engineering consultancy services, ranging from mining and transport, to urban and social development."

Marshall adds that high-profile merger talks between the companies began in 2009. "As a global leader in engineering consultancy services, SMEC is fully-committed to playing a key role in the advancement of infrastructure throughout the Africa continent. SMEC has full confidence in Vela VKE - a company with an unrivalled track record in engineering consultancy services for 60 years."

SMEC is an Australian based professional services firm with a global footprint that provides high-quality consultancy services on major infrastructure projects. Post the merger, the SMEC Group will have over 5,000 employees and an established network of over 70 offices in 36 countries throughout Australia, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific, North and South America.

"Both SMEC and Vela VKE are well respected leaders in the engineering industry. By combining the technical capabilities of both companies, I am fully confident that we will gain substantial ground in the wider African marketplace," adds Marshall.

Post the merger, Vela VKE (as part of the SMEC Group) will offer a range of professional consulting engineering services, including; conceptualisation, planning, design, management, construction supervision, operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure. These comprehensive services will be available to a broad range of sectors, including; hydropower, transport, water, natural resources and environment, geotechnical, mining, tunnelling, urban development, power, renewable energy, government and advisory services and social infrastructure development.

Marshall is confident of future prospects for Vela VKE (SMEC South Africa) in South Africa as a result of the merger. "This is the beginning of a successful partnership that will be highly-beneficial to both companies. It is an exciting time for our valued clients and employees. Our clients will have access to a broader service offering with a global network of knowledge and resources, whilst our employees will have significant growth and development career opportunities as well as a wealth of resources to assist in meeting the needs of their clients."

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