Vinci Buys Stake in Christchurch Builder as Quake Rebuild Looms

Vinci SA (DG), Europe’s biggest builder, bought a majority stake in a New Zealand construction company involved in the recovery of earthquake-damaged Christchurch, two years after the first temblor struck the city.

Paris-based Vinci, through its Soletanche Freyssinet unit, bought 55 percent of March Construction Ltd., a 40 year-old Christchurch-based business, from the March family, according to an e-mailed statement. No price details were disclosed.

New Zealand faces costs of at least NZ$30 billion ($24 billion) from earthquakes that struck the largest city on the nation’s South Island the past two years. The first temblor in September 2010 was followed by another in February 2011 that killed 185 people and wrecked about 1,000 central city buildings, some of which are still being demolished.

“Soletanche Freyssinet is investing in New Zealand for the long-term,” March Managing Director Guy March said in the statement. “This acquisition is an opportunity for us to grow the company regionally and particularly into the Auckland market.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

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