French Construction Companies Target Qatar To Offset Losses From Euro 2016
Eiffage SA "lost money" on building the state-of-the-art football stadium in Lille for the 2016 European championships, according to Francois de Beaupuy of BLOOMBERG. It is "banking on a return coming from outside of France." Eiffage and its French rivals in the construction industry, Vinci SA and Bouygues SA, "are building and renovating six stadiums across the country for the event, anticipating that features like retractable roofs will lure orders from the more deep-pocketed governments of Qatar and Russia." Those two countries will host the football World Cup in '18 and '22 and have earmarked $85B for arenas and infrastructure such as railways and hotels. Eiffage's project head for the €324M ($427M) Lille stadium, Bertrand d'Herouville, said, "This is a showcase stadium for us. It's a reference for us. If we can replicate it, we'll do it." The stadium is "the only one in France with a retractable roof and a built-in arena under a sliding pitch." Vinci CEO Xavier Huillard said, "We will be able to capitalize and show our Qatari friends what we're doing in Nice and in Bordeaux." Qatar agreed to spend as much as $65B to host the World Cup. The plan "includes stadiums equipped with solar-powered air conditioning" and constructing a $25B rail and metro network. Russia in September doubled its forecast for spending on the World Cup to almost $20B (BLOOMBERG, 6/10).