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Murphy sells stake in Australian JV

Murphy has sold its 50 per cent stake in its Australian pipeline construction business Murphy Pipe and Civil (MPC).

Queensland-based Pipe and Civil merged with Murphy in 2010 to become MPC. The company specialises in laying and maintaining pipelines for the natural resources, mining and energy sectors.

However, Murphy confirmed today that it had exited the joint venture and had sold its share of the company to Viburnum Funds/SCF Partners.

In a statement released by Murphy, it said the sale has provided a “multiple return on the initial investment”.

It added the group’s experience in Australia has provided an “excellent opportunity to develop its strategy for entering international markets”.

Murphy chief Steve Hollingshead said: “The success of MPC shows just what a contribution Murphy’s expertise and ethos can make to a successful partnership.

“We leave behind a strong legacy that we are proud to have been part of and we are confident that our friends and former colleagues remaining with MPC are well-placed to continue to deliver for their customers.”

He added the group are “actively pursuing investments in development, infrastructure assets, new product launches and acquisitions”.

Speaking to CN in June, Mr Hollingshead said the group had seen a drop in trading in its Australian arm.

He said: “At one stage our joint venture was trading at $1bn annually; we are now at somewhere like $200m.

“That part of the business had to do a lot of right-sizing, which was driven by the fall in oil and gas prices.”

He said despite the fall in trading, he was “still very confident” that the wider Murphy business will hit its ambitious target to become a £2bn-turnover business by 2025.

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