Group Five hopes collusion referral will end uncertainty

18 November 2014

Group Five has welcomed the Competition Commission’s referral of a collusive tendering case regarding the construction of 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums to the Competition Tribunal. Outgoing CEO Mike Upton says this should enable the company to “address and clarify” a long outstanding matter.

Nevertheless, Group Five had set aside a financial provision for a possible fine.

Upton said the referral “was anticipated” after consensus could not be reached between it and the commission on the allegation. But he also felt the formal process, initiated by the commission on November 12, was probably the best route to bring “certainty to shareholders, employees and stakeholders”.

The commission said the stadiums matter had been referred against WBHO Construction, Group Five Construction, Stefanutti Stocks and Basil Read, with Murray & Roberts having been granted leniency.

“We actually advised [the commission] that we thought it might be best if this matter was referred – because then there would be a process where there’s discovery both sides, in terms of evidence, and there is a properly regulated engagement,” Upton explained. “So we actually welcome this.”

Upton said processes were also under way in parallel in an effort to mend relations with government and to reinforce the importance of the role of the domestic construction industry delivering on the country’s infrastructure programmes.

By: Terence Creamer

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