Leighton proposes name change

By Neill Barston25 March 2015

Australian infrastructure company Leighton Holdings is to seek approval from shareholders to change its name to CIMIC Group (Construction, Infrastructure, Mining and Concessions).

The move to rename the business, which is owned by Spanish contractor ACS, follows a turbulent period for the company. It has faced several corruption allegation cases linked to former employees.

In 2013, the company launched legal proceedings that aimed to recover US$ 5.3 million in damages from an unnamed employee in a case of alleged misconduct.

Leighton was also subjected to a confidential investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2013, over an alleged case of bribery in Iraq.

Last year, the company made a US$ 59 million settlement for a class action lawsuit in relation to a profit downgrade which it issued in 2011. This had affected shareholders who had bought shares during 2010 and 2011.

The company held a strategic review of its operations in June 2014, which concluded that the business would focus on four key areas. This included construction, mining, engineering and public-private partnership projects.

Leighton’s board recommended the name change for approval, with the issue being put to a shareholder vote next month.

The company said, “The board considers that the change of name is appropriate to support the transformation to the new operating model. The new name intends to provide a better representation of what we are and do, and this will closely reflect our core activities.”

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