Shareholders of Swiss groups Zschokke and Batigroup have approved the merger of the two companies to form the country's largest builder, Implenia.This content was published on March 2, 2006 - 15:01
The two companies said that voting at meetings of Batigroup in Basel and Zschokke in Geneva on Thursday had overwhelmingly given support to the deal.
Implenia has annual combined turnover of SFr2.7 billion ($2.1 billion) and a staff of 6,500.
Switzerland's competition commission approved the merger last month, saying it had found no evidence that the merger would create a market-dominant position in general building and construction, and in tunnel building.
The two companies unveiled their plans to merge in November and the following month the competition commission said it was scrutinising the planned move. The company was created on January 1 this year.
An Implenia statement said the firm had orders of SFr3.1 billion and a stock value of SFr358 million.
When the deal was announced, the companies said Implenia would be "by far the largest" in the highly fragmented construction industry and would command a market share of about five per cent.
The new firm, it said would compete more intensely at international level both inside and outside Switzerland.
The merger is expected to result in about 650 job losses which will be achieved through natural fluctuation, non-replacement of temporary and short-term posts, as well as through transfers and early retirements.
Implenia expects to incur one-off costs totalling SFr45 million as a result of the merger but anticipates synergy gains of at least SFr20 million annually at the operating profit level.
swissinfo with agencies
The fusion of Zschokke and Batigroup will create Switzerland's biggest builder, with 5% market share and annual sales of SFr2.7 billion.
But around 10% of the workforce will lose their jobs.
Zschokke will have a 65% share in Implenia, with 35% belonging to Batigroup.
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