Our history

The proud history of CIMIC Group

The evolution of a global leader

With roots running back to railway rolling stock production in 1899 – and a history that includes the earthmoving business of five brothers established in Queensland’s Darling Downs in 1934 and a listing on the Melbourne Stock Exchange in 1962 – CIMIC Group’s businesses have a proud and diverse history of redefining the engineering, construction, mining, services and infrastructure development industries for 120 years.  

CPB Contractors

Formed in Australia in 1949 by Englishman Stanley Leighton, Leighton Contractors was listed on the Melbourne Stock Exchange in 1962. 

After early work, including on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme, the company expanded its presence during the 1970s and 1980s through key contracts such as the redevelopment of Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Its growth continued into the 1990s and 2000s, designing and constructing major civil engineering and building projects across Australasia. 

In January 2016, the merger of the CIMIC Group construction businesses of Leighton Contractors and Thiess Construction resulted in a new name and brand: CPB Contractors.

Leighton Asia

Established in 1975, Leighton Asia’s first projects included the Tuen Mun reclamation and Discovery Bay project, both in Hong Kong. In the 1980s and 1990s, the company expanded into Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia and now also operates in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and India with renowned projects including the new Australian Embassy Compound in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

In 2013, Leighton Asia acquired Welspun Group's stake in Leighton Welspun, renaming the business Leighton India. 


Established in 1934 as a small earthmoving business by five brothers in Queensland’s Darling Downs, Thiess has played a pivotal role in building Australia’s infrastructure and delivering for the resources sector. In the late 1940s, Thiess pioneered large-scale open cut mining projects, helping to overcome Australia’s post-World War II energy crisis. 

In the 1980s, Thiess launched its mining know-how into Indonesia and has continued to strengthen its international operations, delivering mining services across six countries today.

In January 2015, Thiess became the world’s largest contract miner, combining the history and strength of Thiess with the mining operations of Leighton Contractors, HWE and Leighton Asia to form the mining business of CIMIC Group.

CIMIC Group sold 50% of Thiess to funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd in December 2020.


Founded in Brisbane in 1979 by John Sedgman, Sedgman has progressively expanded to become a global leader in mineral processing excellence. The company undertook its first international projects in the 1990s and established the Operations arm of its business in 1998. Through the acquisition of Pac-Rim in 2006 and Intermet in 2007, Sedgman diversified its commodity base into the metals sector. Sedgman has offices in South America, Canada, South Africa and a procurement hub in China.  

Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2006, Sedgman was acquired by CIMIC Group in 2016.


UGL originated as a small engineering business, in Western Australia in the late 1960s. Expanding nationally during the 1990s, UGL acquired Goninan, the country’s leading producer of railway rolling stock, founded in 1899.

In the following decade, UGL undertook several acquisitions, further expanding its operations in Australia as well as extending into Asia and North America. In 2011, UGL acquired DTZ Holdings, creating a global leader in property services that was later divested.

In 2016, UGL was acquired by CIMIC Group.

Pacific Partnerships

Pacific Partnerships was established by CIMIC in 2014 by combining its industry-leading infrastructure development capabilities. CIMIC Group has been responsible for the delivery of more than 30 PPPs valued at close to $60 billion over the past 25 years.

Pacific Partnerships supports clients' infrastructure investments through financing solutions, technical innovations and life-cycle value, building smarter cities and stronger regions.

EIC Activities

Established in 2014, EIC Activities is CIMIC Group’s engineering and technical services business. 

EIC Activities’ engineering and risk mitigation expertise provides CIMIC Group with a competitive advantage for winning and delivering profitable projects that also generate value for clients.


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