Opus asks shareholders to approve JV to target Middle East

The engineering firm also has one of four mandates to lead design the rebuild of Christchurch.

Opus International Consultants, the engineering firm with one of four mandates to lead design the rebuild of Christchurch, is asking shareholders to approve a joint venture with a sister firm to target the Middle East.

The Wellington-based firm wants to set up a venture with Opus International (M) Bhd (OIMB), a sister company to Opus' cornerstone shareholder Opus International (NZ), to launch operations in the Middle East.

Shareholders will vote on whether to approve the deal allowing Opus to provide services or capital in excess of NZX listing rules limits without asking for investor approval at the annual meeting on April 20 in Christchurch.

The venture will need seed funding of $150,000 from each partner and will target consultancy and project management work in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and any other countries the Opus companies agree on.

The deal was deemed fair to minority shareholders in Opus, according to an independent appraisal report by PwC's Richard Longman and David Bridgman.

The joint venture's board will have two directors from Opus and three, including the chairman, from OIMB.

Opus' shares fell 0.6 percent on Friday to $1.78, and have shed 11 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'outperform' based on four analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $2.20.