Dubai International Airport. Picture: AFP
Dubai International Airport. Picture: AFP

Industrial group Murray & Roberts (M&R) may be one step closer to ending an arbitration dispute that has plagued the company for a decade. 

The company believes it is owed money for work it did in the Middle East. In 2017, its uncertified revenue dispute with the Dubai government over its work on Dubai Airport sat at R900m.

The work involved a contract to construct and develop Concourse 3 at the airport.

M&R joined a consortium called HMRT, which was made up of three companies. M&R owned 40% of the contract, while Al Habtoor accounted for 40% and Takenaka accounted for 20%.

On Tuesday, M&R announced it had received an update with respect to the dispute.

“The board of directors of Murray & Roberts advises that on 3 April 2019, an arbitral award was issued in relation to the dispute,” it said.

In its award, the tribunal made a number of determinations dealing with the many claims and counterclaims of HMRT and the client, M&R said.

“In order to bring this matter to conclusion, the client now has to prepare and issue a final account for the project, taking into consideration the determinations and guidance of the tribunal in its award, and the client and HMRT have to agree the final account,” said M&R.

Mish-al Emeran, an analyst at Electus Fund Managers, said the tribunal’s award indicated that M&R’s headache was finally lapsing.

“It seems like they are saying that the tribunal outcome has been finalised, so the process of finalising the payment is now being done, which implies the matter is close to completion. But it’s odd that no details regarding amounts were included,” he said.

M&R spokesperson Ed Jardim said the company would need time to analyse the award.  

“The dispute is extremely complicated given that is has gone for about 10 years. We need time to study the award before we can communicate what we have found to the market,” he said.

andersona@businesslive.co.za