The newly created Bovis-Lend Lease company is to target Asia for work in a bid to expand its global presence.

The news follows a meeting between Lend Lease managing director David Higgins, Bovis chief executive Luther Cochrane and Bovis chairman Sir Frank Lampl at Lend Lease Australian headquarters.

Cochrane and Sir Frank also met with Ross Taylor, who heads Lend Lease’s project management division.

Discussions between the four centred on devising a strategy for the company’s future and merging their respective staff in Australia and Asia. They also discussed renaming the company.

Sir Frank told Building that the company intended to avoid redundancies in its Australian operation by relocating a number of staff to Asia. Lend Lease employs about 1300 people in the two regions; Bovis employs about 600.

Sir Frank said: “We are hoping to create additional work in Asia in the next 12 months. Asia is experiencing an upturn at the moment; foreign investors are returning to China, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.

“In Australia, one would expect a downturn after the Olympics. That was certainly the case in Barcelona, but by then, we would hope to have enough work in Asia to allow everyone to be relocated.

Sir Frank said he did not envisage any redundancies among technical staff following the discussions. But he added that he did expect to lose a number of administrative staff, because of the overlap between the two companies.

He confirmed that there would be no job losses in the company’s European and US operation.

“The whole thing hasn’t been done to shrink the company. It’s been done to enable us to cover the globe,” he said.

Sir Frank added that the new company was considering a number of proposals for a name change: “We want to combine the names of the two companies and we have people working on it.”