Strabag Gets Big Share of Road Deal

VIENNA -- Austrian builder Strabag won a 1 billion euro ($1.5 billion) share of a contract to build an eight-lane highway around St. Petersburg.

The order is part of a 5 billion euro project awarded to Strabag and partners Bouygues of France, Hochtief PPP Solutions of Germany and Basic Element, Strabag said Monday in a statement. Construction is due to start in the first half of 2009.

The highway is "the largest, and at this time most important, infrastructure project in Russia," Strabag chief executive Hans Peter Haselsteiner said in the statement. "The fact that the Strabag-led consortium succeeded in winning this order shows the excellent market position of Strabag in Russia."

Strabag, which in April said it planned to double its revenue to 20 billion euros ($30.1 billion) by 2010, is targeting markets such as Russia, where margins are higher as fewer companies are equipped to supply the services currently in demand. Strabag plans to make the country its biggest single market by 2012, increasing revenue from the country to 5 billion euros, compared with 259 million euros in fiscal 2007.

Strabag's shares rose 1.31 euros, or 2.7 percent, to 49.2 euros in Vienna, giving it a market value of 5.61 billion euros.

Oleg Deripaska, who controls Basic Element and is Russia's richest person, spent 1.2 billion euros on a stake in Strabag in April 2007 and currently controls 25 percent of the builder.