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Thu 30 Aug 2018 03:38 PM

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New KEF Infra, Katerra firm eyes expansion in the Middle East

Brand View: The newly created company specialises in pre-fabricated construction using high-tech technology

New KEF Infra, Katerra firm eyes expansion in the Middle East

A newly created company born of a merger between Silicon Valley based technology company Katerra and UAE-headquartered offsite manufacturing technology leader KEF Infra is actively looking to expand in the Middle East, according to company officials.

The two companies announced their merger in July, noting that the merged company has over $3.7 billion in bookings.

KEF Infra is the brainchild of UAE-based entrepreneur Faizal Kottikolon. Earlier this year the company announced an annual revenue of 150 USD Million for the year 2017 and has witnessed robust growth in its order book, worth USD 207 million in 2017-2018.

“I am very excited by the prospects of this strategic alliance,” said Faizal Kottikollon. “We look forward to breaking new ground with a like-minded team, particularly in the Middle East because government support has led to burgeoning investment opportunities, making this region a potential growth market.”

“We will also expand our footprint to other geographies in India beyond our current markets,” he added.

Voicing similar thoughts, Mr Michael Marks, Chairman and Co-founder of Katerra, said, “We are thrilled to merge with KEF Infra, a company that is truly a disruptor. It’s incredible to discover a team so aligned with our values and vision.”

Katerra, was co-founded by Michael Marks who serves as its Chairman and CEO. It operates globally, with 2 factories and 2,000 employees worldwide with a turnover of USD 1.1 Billion. Katerra was most recently valued at USD 3 Billion, and investors include Softbank, Foxconn, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

According to KEF Katerra, they employ a vertically integrated model, offering end-to-end building services enhanced by design, technology, and offsite manufacturing. The vertical integration of all disciplines from architectural design, structural design and engineering, MEP and finishes and overall project planning and execution will allow for integrated project delivery, which is lacking in construction today. In addition to addressing housing needs, KEF Katerra will be actively engaged in building critical infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.

Speaking to Arabian Business, KEF Katerra Middle East and Asia president Ash Bhardwaj said that the company has the ability to “serve every different asset class of real estate, including hospitals, schools, commercial buildings, and housing.”

“We can do everything required to build a complete township,” he said. “We are just not doing it in a traditional way.”

Using pre-fabrication technology, he added, allows for much faster and cost effective completion of projects. “The project location becomes an assembly site, rather than a construction site,” he said.

Additionally, Kottikollon said that in the near future KEF Katerra plans to take advantage of “the huge drive from various governments to bring technology to the construction sector. There is a USD 5 Trillion global infrastructure deficit that can only be addressed with offsite construction technology.

“We’re excited to be a part of the movement transforming the construction sector” he added.

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