Group 5 offices in Woodmead North of Johannesburg.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi
Group Five has streamlined the business units in its engineering and construction (E&C) cluster from 11 to four, resulting in a simplified management structure and a reduction of 13percent or 149 in the number of salaried employees in the business.

The streamlining of the cluster forms part of a restructuring by the listed construction and engineering group in February that it confirmed at the time would result in further voluntary and forced retrenchments.

Group Five has already slashed its number of employees by 23.5percent or 2841 people between June 2015 and June last year.

In an update on the restructuring process released yesterday, the company said it continued to make progress in the implementation of the restructure of the E&C business cluster to unlock shareholder value.

The group said the simplified management structure and reduced number of salaried employees in the E&C business was part of the realignment of the cluster’s overhead costs, which were on track.

Group Five earlier this month declined to quantify the number of employees who would be affected by the latest round of retrenchments, adding that the impact of the retrenchments would be included in its interim financial results to June and additional guidance provided once the process had been completed.

Offer

The group yesterday also stressed it was not currently in possession of a bona fide offer “of a binding or non-binding nature” for any assets in the group.

This follows the group previously stating that it would pursue the option of an equity transaction in honouring its obligations in terms of the voluntary rebuild programme (VRP) agreement reached with the government and to support the company's transformation.

Group Five confirmed that it was receiving a number of inquiries and correspondence regarding equity-based transactions at both the group and subsidiary company level.

It said these would be reviewed by it board, the mergers and acquisitions sub-committee and independent advisers, who would then determine the next steps based on the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

“A key criteria that is used in assessing any expression of interest received by the group is whether the proposal has the ability to enhance shareholder value, either by complementing the group’s stated strategy of being a portfolio of counter-cyclical businesses or by realising value to shareholders, which could include a strategy that involves unbundling certain businesses,” the group said.

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