Mota & Companhia Profile

Dublin Core


Mota & Companhia Profile






1946-2000, Porto, Portugal

Firm Item Type Metadata

Head Office Location

Rua do Rego Lameiro, Nº38, 4300-454 Porto, Portugal

Foundation Date


Founded by

Virgílio Martins Ribeiro


On June 29, 1946, Manuel António da Mota together with Joaquim da Fonseca, his brother-in-law, and  Virgílio Martins Ribeiro founded Mota & Companhia in Amarante. A few days larter he established a branch of the company in Angola, where he immediately and exclusively pursued his activities until 1974. Mota & Companhia worked in the area of exploration and transformation of wood and, from 1948, cumulatively, in the area of Construction and Public works. Headquartered in Cabinda, Angola, its first major reference in construction was the Luanda International Airport, current 4 de fevereiro Airport, planned in 1952.

During the 1970s, the company internationalized to countries other than Angola, such as Namibia, Botswana or Swaziland. However, in the following decades the company was able to spread to other territories. In Africa, it expanded to Gabon, Mozambique, Malawi and Cape Verde, where it left its mark on the construction of Praia airport. In Europe, it arrived in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. In the 90's the company would also arrive to Latin America, in a partnership that enhanced the future merger with Engil.

With a vast activity in Africa and with a deep connection especially with Angola, in 1976 Mota & Companhia relaunched its activity in Portugal. Despite having built the Lucefecit Dam in Alandroal in 1976, it was with the Baixo Mondego hydraulic works in 1978 that the company affirmed itself in the national territory, with an investment around 39 million euros. Continuing its activity in Portugal, the company made part of the consortium of the EXPO 98's Vasco da Gama bridge, over the Tagus River.

On July 23, 1999, the companies owned by Mota family launched a takeover bid for the entire capital of Engil SGPS, which resulted in the birth of the Mota-Engil Group as we know it today. This operation had a major impact on the construction sector, becoming the largest construction company operating in Portugal, leading also in the area of services (through Mota-Engil Ambiente e Serviços) and a in the transport concessions sector.

Click on the selected works below to know more about them:

Aeroporto 4 de Fevereiro, Luanda
Barragem de Odeleite, Castro Marim
Regularização do Baixo Mondego, Figueira da Foz/Coimbra


The timeline of woks done by/with the collaboration of Mota & Companhia



PT BUILDS, “Mota & Companhia Profile,” Portugal Builds, accessed May 20, 2024,

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