ACS keen to start talks with Hochtief

SPANISH construction company ACS said yesterday it hoped to start talks with Hochtief as soon as possible after its German rival said it was open for dialogue.

ACS has not sat down for talks with Hochtief despite launching a formal bid for control of Hochtief on 1 December.

“We welcome that Hochtief responds positively to our offer for talks which we have made several times over the past couple of months,” a spokeswoman for ACS said yesterday.

“We expect talks to begin as soon as possible. It will be crucial for both parties to treat the talks with utmost confidentiality.”

Asked whether there is a date for talks, a Hochtief spokeswoman said, “We are currently concentrating on our [regulatory] statement to shareholders.”

As part of German takeover rules, the management and supervisory board must make a formal recommendation to shareholders whether or not to accept a takeover offer. A statement is expected this week.

Hochtief said this weekend it does not regard the takeover bid by ACS as hostile and will agree to talks with them “as a shareholder”.