Aegek S.A. History

304 Messogion Avenue
Athens GR-155 62

Telephone: (30) 210 650 9800
Fax: (30) 210 653 5761

Public Company
Incorporated: 1949
Employees: 1,400
Operating Revenues: EUR 138.65 million ($150 million) (2003)
Stock Exchanges: Athens
Ticker Symbol: AEGEK
NAIC: 237310 Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction; 237110 Water and Sewer Line and Related Structures Construction; 541330 Engineering Services

Company Perspectives:

Throughout its long history, AEGEK has been developed from a technical company of medium size, into a contractor of large infrastructure projects and into a group numbering more than 10 large or smaller specialized corporations. The last period of the Company's development course begins in the year 2000 and coincides with the rapid development of all financial indicators, the acquisition of profound specialization in power and infrastructure projects, the growing of the group through large buy-outs and acquisition of participations in companies such as ETEP, METON and EFKLIDIS, the systematic expansion of its activities abroad.

Key Dates:

Aegek Anonymous Company of General Construction and Maritime, Tourist, Agricultural and Forestal Enterprises (Aegek S.A. for short) is founded.
The company completes the construction of the Irrigation Works of Thessaly.
Aegek constructs Lake Karla Drainage Tunnel.
Steyr Hellas automotive plant is completed.
Aegek begins developing an expertise in the construction of Hydro-electric Plants (HEP) and dams.
The company builds an HEP unit at Assomati.
The company starts work on the construction of the Athens Metro.
Aegek goes public on the Athens Stock Exchange and launches international operations.
Construction operations along the Pathe Highway begins.
Aegek enters the Jordanian market with the construction of two irrigation dams; the company acquires Ekter SA and Omas SA.
Aegek enters Romania with the construction of Millennium Business Center in Bucharest.
Diameter, Odosimansi, Axon, and Oikodomiki are acquired.
Aegek acquires control of Efklidis SA, which is renamed Aegek Group SRL.

Company History:

Aegek S.A.--the company's full name is Aegek Anonymous Company of General Construction and Maritime, Tourist, Agricultural and Forestal Enterprises--is one of Greece's leading construction and engineering companies. Aegek specializes in large-scale private and public works projects, including the construction of roads and bridges, hydroelectric dams, subways--including the Athens Metro--and other projects, such as part of the infrastructure for the huge Athens-hosted 2004 Olympic Games. Founded in 1949, Aegek has participated in a wide array of joint ventures that have significantly contributed to its growth. Among the group's partners have been ABB, Campenon Bernard, Dumez, and Hochtief. Joint ventures continue to form nearly 90 percent of Aegek's total EUR 139 million in annual revenues. Another important part of the company's operations is its Aegek Energy subsidiary, which builds and operates power plants. Long focused on the Greek market, Aegek began exporting its expertise at the turn of the 21st century, winning contracts in foreign countries such as Jordan, Rumania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Cyprus. Aegek has been listed on the Athens Stock Exchange since 1993.

Rebuilding Greece in the 1950s

Aegek was founded in order to participate in the reconstruction of Greece following the Nazi occupation during World War II. By the 1950s, the company was engaged in various projects in Greece, particularly those relating to the country's development of a modern public infrastructure. Aegek quickly became one of the leading Greek engineering and construction companies, with a focus on public works projects. As such, Aegek participated in a number of important construction projects during its early decades.

One of Aegek's first major projects involved the building of the Irrigation Works of Thessaly, completed in 1955, and the related Lake Karla Tunnel project, completed in 1962, which involved the construction of a drainage tunnel diverting the waters from Thessaly's Lake Karla for irrigation purposes. That project, however, was later recognized as an ecological disaster that resulted in the death of the famed lake.

In the 1970s, Aegek branched out into the private sector. The company joined the important Steyr Hellas project, which brought automotive construction to Greece through Austrian Steyr's attempt to market its trucks and other light vehicles there, including the military-oriented G-Wagon. An automotive plant, built in Salonika, was completed in 1973.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Aegek began developing expertise in a new area when the company began building hydro-electric dams and power plants. Throughout the decade, Aegek had built a number of smaller hydro-electric dams as well as several large-scale projects, such as the hydro-electric power (HEP) unit at Assomati in 1985, the hydro-electric dam at Messohora in 1989, and the Aoos HEP complex, begun in 1990. Aegek emerged as a niche specialist in that area, ultimately forming a dedicated subsidiary, Aegek Energy, to encompass its HEP construction and operations activities.

Public Powerhouse for the New Century

In 1991, Aegek began constructing the underground power plant for the HEP dam at Thissavros. Also in that year, the company joined in the launch of another prestigious project, that of the construction of the new underground Metro in Athens, the largest construction project in Greece. Aegek later joined in on two additional phases of that project, extending its participation into the 2000s. In 1992, Aegek became part of the consortium building the Evinos Aquaduct, a project for the diversion of waters from the Evinos River to the Mornos Reservoir. This involved the building of an earthfill dam and the digging of a tunnel linking the river to the reservoir.

The Greek government stepped up its infrastructure spending in the 1990s, when the country joined the European Community. The increase in spending led Aegek to go public in 1993, listing on the Athens Stock Exchange. The public offering helped fuel the group's expansion objectives into the 2000s. Over the next decade, Aegek increased its scale more than tenfold, raising its annual revenues from the equivalent of about EUR 10 million to more than EUR 138 million ($150 million) at the end of 2003. Acquisitions formed a strong part of the Aegek's growth strategy. The company also began competing for its first contracts outside of Greece, notably in the Balkan states and Cyprus.

At the same time, Aegek continued to expand its range of competencies, in part through acquisitions, enabling it to diversify its range of projects. In 1995, the company joined in on the construction of the Tempi Railway Tunnel, which involved building a 12 kilometer stretch of high-speed railway linking Evangelismos and Rapsani along the new Athens-Thessalonika line. The following year, Aegek began work on the first of three phases of the Pathe Highway connecting Athens to Patras. This project included the construction of a railway tunnel and portions of the high-speed railroad connecting the two cities. In 1997, the company began work on another high-profile project, that of the construction of a Biological Research Center for the Academy of Athens. That project was completed in 2002. Aegek launched another major roadworks project in 1997 when it began constructing a 13-kilometer stretch of the Egnatia Highway from Grevena to Siatista.

The turn of the 21st century marked two major developments for Aegek. On the one hand, the company began a new series of acquisitions, such as its 1999 purchases of Ekter SA, another publicly listed construction group, and the engineering firm Omas SA. In 2000, the company acquired a stake in another engineering group, Efklides S.A., then, in 2001, acquired holdings in Etep SA and Meton SA, both construction companies. In 2002, Aegek continued its buying spree, picking up Odosimansi Technical Company, Axon Technical Company, and Oikodomiki SA. These three were then merged, with Diameter, into Aegek itself. By the end of 2003, the company had gained majority control of Meton and Efklidis, the latter of which was renamed Aegek Group SRL.

While pursuing its acquisition program, Aegek also launched a drive into the international construction market. In 1999, the company won contracts for two construction projects in Jordan--the Wala Dam, at the Al-Wala Wadi, and the Mujib Dam, at the Al-Mujib Wadi. In 2000, Aegek entered Rumania with the contract to build the Millennium Business Center in Bucharest, a project completed at the end of 2003. This contract led the company to step up its contracts in Rumania, which included a road improvement project on the highway between Timisoara and Lug, starting in 2002, and the repair of the DN2 roadway in southeastern Rumania, also starting in 2002.

Even as it pursued its international expansion, Aegek remained a leader in the Greek construction industry. Major projects included the construction of a new General Military Hospital in Thessalonika. Construction on that complex began in 2001, with completion expected in early 2005. Also in 2001, Aegek added the building of the Olympic Airways Hangar at the new Athens International Airport. In addition, the company picked up a number of projects related to the 2004 Olympic Games to be hosted in Athens.

In 2003, Aegek expanded its road-building operation with the launch of work on the Arta-Trikala Highway. Aegek's part of that project involved the construction of the entire roadway from the Pachtouri Tunnel up to Agia Kiriaki. By then, Aegek itself appeared on the highway to future success as a leading Greek construction and engineering company.

Principal Subsidiaries: Aegek Group SRL; Ekter S.A. (37.6%); Ergonis S.A. (40%); Dirki S.A.; Aegek Rom Construct Srl; Enet S.A.; Edafostatiki S.A. (43%); Aegek Energy S.A.; Astakos Terminal S.A. (50%); Meton S.A. (37.46%); Piraeus Prodefin Holding (26.65%); Athinaikoi Stathmoi S.A. (20%); Akaport S.A. (25%); Foxford Trading Ltd (66.67%); Aegef Group Srl (50%); Energy Electromechanical Projects S.A.; Aegek Anonymous Company Of Energy And Technology; Astakos Terminal S.A.

Principal Competitors: Consolidated Contractors Company; Aktor S.A.; Avax S.A.; Volos Technical Company S.A.; Altec Group S.A.; Pantechniki S.A.; Empedos S.A.; Alte S.A.; Atti-Kat S.A.; Athena Hellenic Engineering Industrial and Touristic Company.

Further Reading:

  • Aggistalis, George, "Highway Across Greece," World Tunnelling, March 1999, p. 61.
  • Hope, Kevin, "Jordan Awards Dams Contract," Financial Times, January 20, 1999, p. 7.
  • "Jordan: Greek/Bosnian Team Wins Dam Contract," MEED: Middle East Economic Digest, January 29, 1999, p. 18.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.64. St. James Press, 2004.