Company: Consolidated Contractors International Company
Wealth: 7 Billion
Said Khoury is renowned as much for his business acumen as his passionate support of the Palestinain cause. He chairs the Palestinian Businessmen’s Association, he’s governor of Arab Monetary Fund and he’s a major shareholder in the Arab Palestinian Investment Company. But of course none of this would have been possible without his enormous commercial success.
With cousin Hasib Sabbagh, in 1952 he founded Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), one of the first Arab construction companies. The company sees sales of $4bn a year and manages construction projects in 40 countries, with a focus on Middle East and North Africa.
Born in Safad, Palestine, Khoury moved to Lebanon in 1948 after the Arab-Israeli war and got his first job helping to build Tripoli Airport. He is now based in Athens.
CCC has built landmark projects in everything from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison (built in 1969, before the ascent of Saddam Hussein to the presidency of the country), to the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washing DC. The company has undertaken major projects in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Africa and the Gulf.
The success of CCC is rooted in the early 1960s, with Sabbagh and Khoury securing a contract related to oil pipe storage facilities for the Iraq Petroleum Company, which entailed working with the Bechtel Group, the world’s largest construction company. That deal cemented a long and lasting relationship between CCC and Bechtel Group and it defined CCC’s scale of operations across the world.
In addition to securing this relationship, Khoury and Sabbagh built strategic partnerships with other important players in the markets they entered as the company expanded.
Khoury, who owns 60 percent of CCC, and Hasib Sabbagh, who owned the rest but sadly died in January this year, took a $37.5m dividend in 2004, leaving $462m of shareholder equity in the company.
Kamel Abdul Rahman, CCC’s third founder, who died in 1980, sold his stake to his partners before retiring.