Hochtief seeking IPO or sale of unit

GERMAN construction group Hochtief is seeking an initial public offering (IPO) or a trade sale of its Concessions unit in 2011, said chief executive Herbert Luetkestratkoetter.

“Unlike in 2009 (when an IPO plan failed) we are also evaluating a sale to investors,” Luetkestratkoetter told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

“Now markets have rebounded and we are starting over again.”

Hochtief has picked Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland as advisors.

At the end of June 2010, Hochtief valued Concessions, which specialises in the construction and operation of airports, roads and other public infrastructure projects, at €1.6bn (£1.3bn).

Sources said in January that Hochtief is seeking to sell its Concessions unit in the second quarter in a fresh attempt to keep Spanish bidder ACS at bay.

In the meanwhile, the Spanish construction and services group has passed the 30 per cent threshold with its Hochtief stake, allowing it to raise its holding further without another full bid.

Luetkestratkoetter has said he is prepared to sit down and talk about an investor agreement with ACS, but he is not planning to step down from his position.

Referring to a planned meeting with ACS head Florentino Perez, Luetkestratkoetter told the newspaper: “We will indeed meet shortly and then we can see what we do together. Until now, we have always talked rationally.”

He added he expects ACS to continue to support Hochtief’s strategy for expanding in India and Canada.

Weekend reports said Hochtief works council chief Siegfried Mueller has stepped down.