TIMELINE: 20 years of European construction history

By Chris Sleight25 March 2010

The first edition of Construction Europe from April 1990. See our special features for a review of t

The first edition of Construction Europe from April 1990. See our special features for a review of the industry over the last 20 years and be sure to enter our 20th birthday quiz.

First published in April 1990, Construction Europe has chronicled the highs and lows of the industry for two decades. Here in brief are some of the most important stories and milestones, selected from magazine's archives.

You will also find the answers to our five-question 20th birthday quiz somewhere below. Click here to view the prizes or click here to enter the quiz.

1990

News

  • European construction output grows +3,2%
  • First issue of Construction Europe published in April - Editor: Paul Marsden, Publisher: James King
  • Reconstruction Ministry formed in Germany
  • JCB's sales in mainland Europe outweigh those in the UK for the first time
  • Breakthrough achieved on the Channel Tunnel
  • Route finalised for the new Brenner Base Tunnel rail link under the Alps
  • GTM-Entrepose and Laing win the contract to build the 5,1 km Second Severn Crossing in the UK

Corporate

  • Management buy-out of foundations specialist Keller from parent company GKN
  • Phillipp Holzmann acquires a minority stake in UK contractor Tilbury
  • Tadano acquires Faun Crane from O&K

1991

News

  • Reunification work in Germany sees industry grow +18,9%
  • European construction output grows +4,2%, although most markets decline apart from Germany
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) founded with headquarters in London
  • Caterpillar introduces the 944, the world's largest mechanical drive wheeled loader
  • Construction of the Storebælt link disrupted as the tunnel sections flood due to subsidence of the seabed

Corporate

  • Bouygues, Europe's largest contractor reports +8,2% rise in profits for previous year
  • UK Contractor Tilbury acquires domestic rival R.M. Douglas
  • JCB establishes excavator joint venture with Sumitomo
  • Fai and Komatsu form joint venture in Italy to make compact equipment
  • VME, the fore-runner to Volvo Construction Equipment acquires Zettlemeyer and Åkerman

1992

News

  • European construction output grows just +0,6%. Almost all markets are in recession except Germany, which rises +10,4%
  • Construction Europe publishes its first league table of the region's largest contractors. Bouygues tops the list with revenues of ECU 7,59 billion
  • Maastricht treaty signed, transforming the European Community into the European Union and paving the way for the creation of the Euro
  • Bouygues, Campenon Bernard, Dumez, Fougerolle, SGE, SAE and Spie for the Fédération Nationale Travaux Publics (FNTP) trade association
  • The European Commission fines a cartel of 28 Dutch contractors for price fixing
  • The European Construction Institute values the construction market in geographic Europe at ECU 900 billion
  • Caterpillar introduces its 300 series excavators to Europe
  • Plans unveiled for Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport

Corporate

  • Bilfinger Berger acquires Bau Union Potsdam, a contractor based in the former East Germany
  • The Thai subsidiary of Christiani & Nielsen completes a reverse takeover of its Danish parent company
  • Walter Bau buys into Dyckerhoff & Widmann (Dywidag), making it Germany's second largest contractor after Phillipp Holzmann
  • Ballast Nedham, Costain and Jan de Nul are part of the consortium that wins the ECU 860 million contract to build the new airport at Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong
  • GTM Entrepose, Laing, NCC and Strabag form a 'strategic alliance' to bit for major European infrastructure projects
  • Case sells Vibromax

1993

News

  • Low point of the 1990s recession, with European construction output falling -2,2%
  • European Union formally established with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty
  • Construction Europe's European Equipment Index (EEI) annual directory published for the first time
  • Abel Matutes of Spain takes over from Belgium's Karel Van Miert as European Transport Commissioner. The portfolio includes responsibility for the new Trans European Transport Networks (TENs, TEN-T) project.
  • Death of Dr Hans Liebherr, founder of the Liebherr group
  • Death of Francis Bouygues, founder of Bouygues
  • The French government gives the go-ahead to the ECU 3 billion TGV Est project to build a high-speed rail link between Paris and Strasbourg
  • Exploratory drilling starts on the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland

Corporate

  • Atlas Copco acquires tunnel boring machine (TBM) manufacturer Robbins
  • Skanska establishes presence in Finland with acquisition of Haka
  • Eiffage formed through the merger of Fougerolle and SAE
  • VME (Volvo) and Hitachi set up a joint venture to build rigid haulers - Euclid-Hitachi

1994

News

  • EU construction output grows +2,1%
  • Construction Europe's circulation audited for the first time by the BPA
  • Spain's Marcelino Oreja takes over as European Transport Commissioner
  • European Cohesion Fund established to improve infrastructure in less developed parts of Europe
  • Final approval granted for the Øresund Link
  • Channel Tunnel opens to traffic

Corporate

  • Impregilo formed through the merger of Cogefar Impresit, Lodigiani and Girola
  • Bilfinger Berger acquires a stake in Poland's Hydrodubowa
  • Tenneco spins-off its subsidiary Case to help reduce its debt
  • Ingersoll-Rand buys Montabert
  • Manitou acquires Ahlmann
  • Amec sells its 49,9% holding in Portugal's Engil
  • Bouygues increases its stake in Colas to 60%
  • Hochtief made a bid to acquire domestic rival Phillipp Holzmann. It would eventually be ruled-out by competition authorities, fortunately for Hochtief.

1995

News

  • EU construction output grows +0,5%
  • German construction output shrinks for the first time since reunification. It will not return to growth until 2006
  • Neil Kinnock from the UK becomes European Transport Commissioner
  • Austria, Finland and Sweden join the EU, but Norway does not.
  • The European Commission imposes record fines totalling ECU 248 million on 33 cement producers and their trade association Cembureau for operating a Europe-wide cartel

Corporate

  • Eiffage acquires French road builder Beugnet
  • Ballast Nedham acquires UK contractor Wiltshire
  • Ingersoll-Rand acquires Clark and its subsidiary Melroe, which manufacturers the Bobcat brand of compact equipment
  • Volvo buys-out partner Clark Equipment - VME becomes Volvo Construction Equipment
  • Komatsu and Demag form manufacturing alliance for large excavators
  • Hyundai announces plans to manufacture excavators in Geel, Belgium

1996

News

  • EU construction output grows +0,4%
  • European Parliament and Council adopt the initial 14 TENs priority projects.
  • European Council for Construction, Research, Development and Innovation (ECCREDI) formed
  • Fines totalling FFR 338 million (about € 50 million) announced for alleged price fixing by Bouygues, Campenon Bernard, Eiffage, Spie and Entrepose Industrielle

Corporate

  • NCC acquires Norway's Rasmussen & Schiötz
  • Wimpey and Tarmac agree an asset swap that will see Tarmac take over Wimpey's quarries in exchange for its house building interests
  • Volvo acquires mini excavator manufacturer Pel-Job
  • Case acquires backhoe loader manufacturer Fermec

1997

News

  • EU construction output grows +0,7%

  • Construction Europe's first internet pages launched

  • Athens wins the competition to host the 2004 Olympic Games

Corporate

  • Spain's Cubiertas and Entrecanales merge to form Acciona
  • Amec acquires Spie
  • Materials producer Hanson announces plans to sell crane manufacturer Grove Worldwide
  • HBG of the Netherlands acquires Higgs & Hill in the UK and takes a controlling interest in Germany's Wayss & Freytag
  • French foundations specialists Bachy and Solletanche merge
  • Lafarge acquires UK building materials group Redland
  • Skanska acquires a minority stake in Costain
  • Volvo acquires Canadian grader manufacturer Champion

1998

News

  • EU construction output grows +1,3%
  • Bauma exhibition held for the first time at the New Munich Trade Fair complex. The event attracts a record-breaking 380000 visitors
  • The European Commission launches a cartel investigation into the plasterboard market, targeting BPB, Knauf and Lafarge
  • The 13,4 km Storebælt (Great Belt) fixed link between the Danish Islands of Zealand and Funen opened

Corporate

  • Case and Sumitomo form a global excavator alliance, ending the previous agreement between JCB and Sumitomo
  • Kruppp sells O&K to New Holland, the Fiat Group's construction equipment arm
  • Volvo acquires Samsung's excavator business in South Korea. It also exits the rigid hauler business with the sale of its stake in Euclid to partner Hitachi
  • Boretec acquires Atlas Copco's TBM business to form The Robbins Company
  • Caterpillar acquires engine manufacturer Perkins
  • Shares in Powerscreen tumble as accounting irregularities are discovered at its subsidiary Matbro

1999

News

  • EU construction output grows +3.4%
  • Chris Sleight takes over from Paul Marsden as editor of Construction Europe
  • Euro replaces the European Currency Unit (ECU) as a theoretical currency and symbol of monetary union
  • Spain's Loyloa de Palacio takes over as European Transport Commissioner
  • Germany's largest contractor Phillipp Holzmann announced losses of € 1,2 billion and was only saved from immediate bankruptcy by the intervention of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The company, which was over-exposed to the collapsing German real estate market would eventually be wound-up
  • A magnitude 7.6 earthquake centred on Izmit devastates parts of North Western Turkey. Corner-cutting a not adhering to building codes is blamed for the extensive damage to buildings
  • Stage I diesel engine emissions standards are introduced for off-highway equipment. It is the first times exhaust gasses from construction equipment have been regulated in Europe
  • The European Commission announces a ban on the use of Chrysotile (white asbestos) in all building products
  • Reconstruction work starts in Kosovo, where 1,5 million people have been left homeless by the war
  • A fire in the Mont Blanc road tunnel kills 39 people and prompts a re-think of safety standards
  • Winds as high as 180 km/hour strike France in December killing 80 people and causing up to € 10 billion of damage
  • Turin wins the competition to host the 2006 Winter Olympic Games

Corporate

  • Aker and Skanska sell their controlling stakes in Scancem to Heidelberg Cement
  • Volvo sells its 65% stake in Mecalac to the company's management team
  • NCC acquires Danish road builder Superfos and PRInz of Poland
  • Skanska acquires Budexpol of Poland and a controlling interests in Argentina's SADE
  • Ferrovial and Agroman announce their plans to merge
  • Strabag Austria acquires Stuag
  • Tarmac splits its contracting and aggregates business. The contractor will be spun-off and re-named Carillion, while Anglo American will acquire the aggregates business
  • Wirtgen acquires roller manufacturer Hamm
  • New Holland acquires Case to form CNH. Under the terms of the deal Case was required to divest Fermec. It would eventually be bought by Terex in 2001.
  • Terex acquires Powerscreen and Cedarapids
  • P&O sold Bovis to Lend Lease

2000

News

  • EU construction output grows +2,9%
  • Construction Europe celebrates its 10th birthday
  • Christiania & Nielsen goes into administration, it will eventually come to focus solely on the Thai (and surrounding) markets
  • Germany wins the competition to host the 2006 soccer World Cup
  • The 16 km Øresund fixed link connecting Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark opened

Corporate

  • Metso announces plans to acquire rival crushing equipment manufacturer Svedala. Clearance from US competition authorities will take some 18 months.
  • Laing, once one of Europe's 10 largest contractors puts its construction business up for sale. It will eventually be bought by O'Rourke for just £ 1.
  • Walter Bau acquires Heilit + Woerner
  • Van Seumeren of the Netherlands acquires domestic rival Mammoet to create Europe's largest heavy lift contractor
  • Skanska acquires Kvaerner Construction (Formerly Trafalgar House) in the UK
  • UK contractors Galliford and Try agree to merge
  • Caterpillar acquires Italian road building equipment manufacturer Bitelli
  • Finning, Caterpillar's UK dealer acquires one of the country's largest equipment rental companies, Hewden Stuart.
  • Mastclimebr manufacturers Alimak agree to merge Hek
  • Mini excavator manufacturer Neuson acquires German compact loader company Kramer-Werk
  • Anglo American puts drilling equipment manufacturer Boart Longyear up for sale
  • Mannesmann puts its crane subsidiary Demag up for sale. It will be bought by Terex
  • Ingersoll-Rand moves into the telescopic handler business with the acquisition of Sambron in France

2001

News

  • EU construction output grows +1,2%
  • Construction Europe launches 'Easy Info Direct' Internet-based system for processing reader enquiries
  • Skanska briefly usurps Vinci as Europe's largest contractor
  • Treaty of Nice signed, paving the way for the eastward expansion of the EU
  • Ten of the world's largest cement manufacturers for the Cement Sustainability Initiative under the auspices of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Death of Joseph Bamford, founder of JCB
  • The Italian Government gives the go-ahead to the Messina Straits bridge to connect Sicily with mainland Italy. The on-off project is still yet to be started

Corporate

  • US crawler crane manufacturer acquires French tower crane company Potain
  • CNH forms excavator manufacturing alliance with Kobelco. The deal will see the dissolution of CNH's previous Fiat-Hitachi joint venture, allowing Hitachi to establish a presence in Europe in its own right
  • Ballast Nedam and HBG agree to merge their dredging businesses
  • Following the merger of Metso and Svedala, certain crushing and screening equipment businesses are divested to Sandvik in line with competition authority concerns
  • Vinci, Europe's largest contractor formed through the merger of SGE and Groupe GTM
  • Lafarge acquires Blue Circle in a friendly takeover after the previous year's hostile approaches were rebuffed
  • Terex acquires Atlas Weyhausen and Schaeff, two German equipment manufacturers

2002

News

  • EU construction grows 0,3%
  • The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) becomes a regular contributor to Construction Europe
  • New Construction Europe share index, the CET launched, expanding the magazine's previous coverage of share prices
  • Euro notes and coins replace national currencies in 12 countries
  • The .eu internet domain is announced
  • Vinci reclaims its position as Europe's largest contractor, an honour it holds to this day
  • The two US construction equipment manufacturers' associations, CIMA And EMI merge to form the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
  • Holzmann finally declares itself insolvent after two years of turmoil and is broken up
  • Eiffage begins work on the Millau Viaduct in France. The maximum clearance under the completed bridge will be 270 m and the tallest pylon will be 343 m high
  • Floods devastate areas of the Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia around the Danube, Elbe and Vltava rivers, causing as much as € 20 billion of damage

Corporate

  • Hitachi starts construction of an excavator factory in Amsterdam
  • Dragados announces plans to acquire HBG. Although the deal will go ahead, the new group will be broken up within months. HBG will be bought by Bam while ACS will acquire Dragados
  • George Wimpey acquires Laing Homes
  • Bilfinger Berger acquires Rheinhold & Mahla
  • Manitowoc acquires mobile crane manufacturer Grove
  • The European Commission announces fines totalling € 478 million against BPB, Knauf and Lafarge for operating a cartel in the plasterboard sector
  • Terex acquires mobile crane manufacturer Demag
  • Mecalac acquires Ahlmann

2003

News

  • EU construction grows 0,9%
  • Construction Europe published as a digital issue for the first time
  • CE-50 league table of Europe's largest contractors expanded to the CE-100
  • The European Space Agency announces its plans for Galileo, a satellite navigation system to both compete with and complement the US GPS system and Russia's GLONASS constellation
  • Nine candidate countries hold referendums on their pending entry to the EU. Cyprus ratifies its accession without a mass vote
  • Excavation starts on the Gotthard Base Tunnel
  • The German cartel office hands out its largest fine ever - € 660 million - to a cartel comprising Dyckerhoff, Heidelberg Cement, Holcim, Lafarge, Schwenk and RMC. The fines will be cut to € 330 million on appeal in 2009
  • Visitor numbers at May's Intermat show are down -12% due to strikes by public transport workers
  • Death of John L Grove, founder of Grove and JLG

Corporate

  • Skanska exits the Latvian, Lithuanian and Hungarian markets and restructures its Danish and Polish businesses
  • Ballast Nedam separates its Dutch and UK businesses in advance of its exit from the UK construction sector
  • Dutch contractor Volker Wessels Stevin is taken into private ownership by the Wessels family
  • Ferrovial acquires UK contractor Amey
  • Ingersoll-Rand announces its intention to exit the drilling equipment business. The division will eventually be bought by Atlas Copco in 2004
  • JCB announces plans to develop its own engines, partially in reaction to the acquisition of its main supplier, Perkins, by Caterpillar in 1998
  • Consolidation continues in the UK housing sector with Taylor Woodrow's acquisition of Wilson Connolly
  • Bam and Van Oord announce plans to merge their dredging businesses, which also includes Ham, formerly part of HBG.
  • Materials producer CRH buys a 45% stake Cementbouw of the Netherlands - its biggest acquisition to date. It will acquire the remaining 55% in 2007.
  • Balfour Beatty acquires UK contractor Mansell

2004

News

  • EU construction grows 1,6%
  • Pinsent Masons takes over from CMS Cameron McKenna as CE's Law & Contract correspondent
  • France's Jacques Barrot takes over as European Transport Commissioner
  • The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) makes the construction industry the subject of its annual occupational safety campaign
  • February sees the Netherlands competition authority announces fines totalling € 100 million against a cartel of 22 contractors. Later in the year it will announce action against some 400 contractors
  • The Finnish Competition Authority announces fines of € 97 million for eight companies in the asphalt sector
  • Croatia becomes a candidate for membership of the EU
  • The construction of Wembley Stadium in the UK becomes bogged-down by disputes between main contractor Multiplex and steel sub-contractor Cleveland Bridge. The stadium will eventually open almost a year late in 2007

Corporate

  • Utilities company RWE sells its 56,1% stake in Hochtief in a private placement
  • Volvo divests its 25% share holding in rival Swedish truck and engine maker Scania
  • Hochtief sells its 48% stake in Ballast Nedham
  • CRH acquires a 49% stake in Portuguese cement manufacturer Secil
  • Amec divests its remaining 49% stake in Spie
  • Metso sells Dynapac to Altor, a private equity company
  • Bauholding Strabag is one of the first companies in Europe to adopt the Societas Europaea (SE) form of incorporation.
  • Mexican cement manufacturer Cemex enters the European market with its acquisition of RMC
  • Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction emerges as the preferred buyer to acquire Korean construction equipment maker Daewoo

2005

News

  • EU construction grows 1,2%
  • London wins the competition to host the 2012 Olympics
  • 62 construction companies sign-up to the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
  • The Cement Sustainability Initiative establishes common reporting and monitoring standards for CO2 emissions
  • The European Commission appoint six high-profile co-ordinators to speed up progress on key TEN-T schemes
  • Another cartel is exposed in the Dutch contracting sector, this time involving some 700 companies

Corporate

  • Walter Bau announces a restructuring plan having failed to fully acquire Züblin. It will subsequently file for insolvency and be broken up
  • Holcim acquires Aggregate Industries
  • Ammann acquires Czech compaction equipment manufacturer Stavostroj
  • The Fayat Group acquires compaction equipment manufacturer Bomag
  • Hochtief sells a 33% stake in its AirPort subsidiary to private equity investors
  • JCB acquires German Compaction equipment manufacturer Vibromax
  • Swedish technology group Hexagon acquires surveying instrument maker Leica Geosystems
  • Caterpillar ceases manufacture of telescopic handlers in favour of an alliance with JLG
  • Polish contractor PRInz, which is 47% owned by NCC, is declared bankrupt

2006

News

  • EU construction grows 4,2%
  • Launch of the CE Barometer monthly confidence survey of the European construction sector
  • Launch of World Construction Week, CE's weekly e-mail newsletter
  • German construction output grows for the first time since 1995
  • Construction of the Olkiluotot 3 nuclear power plant falls behind schedule following concerns over the quality of pre-fabricated metal components and concrete specifications
  • Antoine Zacharais is ousted as chairman of Vinci by CEO Xavier Huillard for "enriching himself beyond all reason." He leaves with shares worth € 165 million and options valued at another € 260 million.
  • Work starts on the exploratory drive for the 56 km Brenner Base Tunnel
  • The European Commission announces fines of € 267 million against 14 companies said to be operating a bitumen cartel in the Netherlands

Corporate

  • Saint-Gobain acquires plasterboard manufacturer BPB
  • Carillion acquires rival UK contractor Mowlem
  • The Mittal group acquires the world's largest steel maker, Arcelor
  • Acciona acquires a controlling stake in CESA, southern Europe's largest wind farm operator
  • UK glass manufacturer Pilkington is acquired by Japan's NSG
  • Lafarge fully acquires its US subsidiary Lafarge North America
  • Galliford Try acquires fellow UK contractor Morrison from utilities company AWG
  • The French competition authority fines a group of 34 contractors for operating a cartel in Paris from 1991 to 1997
  • UK airport operator BAA finally accepts a takeover bid from Ferrovial after rejecting a succession of hostile bids
  • Amec sells its remaining stake in Spie to private equity group PAI Partners
  • Balfour Beatty acquires UK civil engineering contractor Birse
  • Samir Brinkho appoint as CEO of Amec. He will mastermind the company's exit from the contracting sector
  • FCC acquires Swiss contractor Alpine Mayreder
  • Anglo-Dutch Steel maker Corus acquired by Tata Steel
  • US specialist vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh acquires JLG

2007

News

  • EU construction grows 2,3%
  • The March edition of Construction Europe is the largest ever published at 168 pages
  • Slovenia adopts the Euro
  • The European Commission hands out its biggest fines ever - € 992 million - to a group of five companies operating a Europe-wide cartel in the sale and servicing of elevators and escalators
  • The UK Government puts the budget for venues and infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympics at € 13,2 billion
  • April's Bauma exhibition attracts a record 0,5 million visitors
  • Stockholm's district court hands out fines totalling € 50 million to a cartel of six companies in the road building sector
  • The 34,6 km Loetschberg Base Tunnel opens
  • The UK Government grants approval for Crossrail, a new east-west rail link through London, expected to cost € 23 billion
  • The Danish and German governments sign a memorandum of understanding to construct the 20 km Fehmarn Belt Link
  • More fines for a Bitumen cartel, this time in Spain where whistle-blowing by BP leads to € 184 million in penalties for four others
  • The European Commission hands out fines of € 487 million to four flat glass manufacturers
  • Sochi, Russia wins the competition to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games
  • European construction equipment sales peak at more than 211000 units - more than double the volume sold a decade previously

Corporate

  • Volvo acquires Ingersoll-Rand's road building equipment division. Later in the year Ingersoll-Rand will put its remaining construction equipment businesses (Bobcat and others) up for sale. They will be bought by Doosan for € 3,7 billion.
  • Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey agree to merge to create Europe's largest house builder
  • Sacyr launches a hostile bid to acquire Eiffage. It will ultimately prove unsuccessful after a bitter and drawn-out battle
  • Heidelberg Cement acquires Hanson
  • Wacker acquires Neuson-Kramer
  • Strabag performs an initial public offering (IPO) of shares and lists on the Vienna Stock Exchange as Strabag SE
  • Sandvik acquires Extec and Fintec
  • Anglo American puts Tarmac up for sale only to withdraw it from the market in early 2008 as share prices slide. It will eventually be sold piecemeal

2008

News

  • European construction falls -3,0%
  • CE launches a new annual study on cross-border construction work by European contractors in partnership with the European International Contractors (EIC) trade association
  • The CET Index of European construction shares has its worst year ever, losing more than -50% of its value
  • Italy's Antonio Tajani takes over as European Transport Commissioner
  • The European Commission freezes grants to Bulgarian infrastructure projects when two civil servants are caught taking bribes
  • 112 UK construction companies are accused of price fixing by the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Fines totalling € 143 million will be announced against 103 companies in 2009
  • Lemminkäinen chairman Heikki Pentti dies
  • The European Commission approves funding for the ChemXchange project, an Internet-based system to provide risk information about chemicals used in construction
  • Death of Rafael del Pino y Moreno, founder and honorary chairman of Ferrovial
  • Ground is broken on a new nuclear reactor near the Bulgarian town of Belen
  • The European Commission raids the offices of six cement manufacturers in eight countries on suspicion of anti-competitive behaviour
  • Venezuela forcibly nationalises its cement industry, seizing assets owned by Cemex, Holcim and Lafarge

Corporate

  • Strabag makes eight acquisitions, including Kirchner and Kirchhoff in Germany and Adanti in Italy, adding € 2 billion to its annual revenues
  • Carillion acquires Alfred McAlpine after having two previous offers rebuffed
  • Balfour Beatty acquires UK contractor Dean & Dyball
  • Bilfinger Berger doubles the size of its facilities management business with the acquisition of M+W Zander
  • FCC enters wind power segment with acquisition of Spanish wind generation assets of Babcock & Brown
  • Doosan acquires Norwegian articulated dump truck manufacturer Moxy
  • Vinci acquires Taylor Woodrow Construction from Taylor Wimpey
  • French telescopic handler manufacturer Manitou acquires US opposite number Gehl
  • Smit rejects a hostile takeover bid from Boskalis Westminster
  • Hitachi and Kawasaki form a manufacturing joint venture for wheeled loaders
  • Holcim acquires Tarmac Iberia

2009

News

  • European construction falls -8,5%, thought to be the biggest year-on-year decline in the post-World War II era
  • European construction share prices bounce back from the collapse of 2008 to have their best year ever
  • Cembureau voices concerns that the next stage of the EU's carbon Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) could push cement manufacture outside the EU - 'carbon leakage'
  • European contractors voice their anger at two major road building contracts in Poland being awarded to a state-owned Chinese contractor
  • Dr Adolf Merckle, the controlling shareholder in Heidelberg Cement commits suicide as his business empire collapses
  • Estimates say the Euro 2012 football tournament in Poland and the Ukraine will provide some € 20 billion of construction work
  • A report in the UK shows that construction workers make up two thirds of the 7000 people who die of work-related cancers in the country each year
  • Four managers at Caterpillar's factory in Grenoble. France are 'boss napped' and held overnight by workers protesting against job cuts
  • A magnitude 6,3 earthquake hits the Italian region of Abruzzo, killing 300 people and causing € 12 billion worth of damage. Allegations are made that buildings were not constructed to the required building codes.
  • The European Commission approves the financing structure for the new € 3,6 billion Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI) Airport
  • Skanska bans certain types of excavator quick couplers from its UK sites following a series of fatal accidents in previous years on UK construction sites.
  • The governments of Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania sign an agreement to construction the € 8 billion Nabucco to export natural gas from the Caspian Sea to the EU
  • The European Commission approves funding for the Fehmarn Belt fixed link between Denmark and Germany
  • The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announces fines totalling UK£ 143 million against 103 companies found guilty of price fixing in a 2008 ruling
  • October sees € 260 million of the previous year's € 200 billion EU stimulus package finally allocated to 18 TEN-T projects

Corporate

  • Italcementi announces plans to fully acquire its French subsidiary Ciments Francais. The deal will ultimately be blocked by US bond holders
  • Wacker Neuson adopts the SE form of incorporation
  • Strabag pulls out of its proposed acquisition of Cemex's Hungarian materials producing businesses, citing long delays by the Austrian competition authorities
  • Snamprogetti's Milan offices are raided by police looking for evidence of bribery on the Nigerian Bonny Island liquefied Natural gas (LNG) project
  • Death of Carl Kaeser, founder of Kaeser Kompressoren
  • Vinci announces plans to acquire electrical engineer via a share swap with its owner Qatari Diar, a fund owned by the government of Qatar
  • Balfour Beatty acquires US consultant and project manager Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Ferrovial forced to divest London's Gatwick Airport following a ruling by the country's competition authority. The company also acquires toll road operator Cintra
  • Smit and Boskalis Westminster agree to merge on friendly terms following the hostile approaches of the previous year

2010

News

  • European construction output forecast to fall -1% to -3%
  • Construction Europe celebrates its 20th Birthday
  • Estonia's Siim Kallas takes over as European Transport Commissioner
  • The European Commission awards key contracts for the Galileo satellite navigation system that should see it go into operation in 2014
  • The Polish competition authority announces fines totalling € 99 million against seven cement manufacturers accused of operating a cartel
  • Bilfinger Berger launches an internal investigation when it is found that key reinforcements have been left out of diaphragm walls on two German railway projects
  • Technip of Italy makes a provision in its accounts to pay fines for bribes it paid in Nigeria, while the UK's W M Kellogg enters negotiations over its role in the scandal
  • Final approval is granted for the 1223 km Nord stream natural gas pipeline under the Baltic

Corporate

  • Brazilian conglomerates CSN, Camargo Corrêa and Votorantim vie for control of Cimpor
  • Terex sells its mining equipment business to Bucyrus
  • Vinci announces plans to acquire 100 quarries in mainland Europe from Tarmac
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