17/09/2010 - 12:18

Leighton shares jump on Spain takeover

17/09/2010 - 12:18

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Control of construction and contracting group Leighton Holdings is in play, with Spanish company ACS launching a bid for its German parent, just days after Leighton announced the retirement of long serving chief executive Wal King.

Leighton shares jump on Spain takeover

Control of construction and contracting group Leighton Holdings is in play, with Spanish company ACS launching a bid for its German parent, just days after Leighton announced the retirement of long serving chief executive Wal King.

ACS's bid for full ownership of Leighton's German parent company Hochtief led to strong gains for the Australian group.

After gaining three per cent in opening trade, shares in Leighton eased back to finish up 1.34 per cent, or 45 cents, stronger at $34.02 on Friday.

Actividades de Construccion y Servicios made a $A3.85 billion all-share offer for the 70 per cent of Hochtief it did not own, prompting a flurry of activity on German and Spanish stock exchanges.

Hochtief owns 54.4 per cent of Leighton and has four seats on the Sydney-headquartered company's board.

Following the takeover offer, Leighton lodged a substantial shareholder notice today saying ACS has a relevant interest in 54.4 per cent of the company.

The timing of the takeover offer for Hochtief, just four days after Leighton announced the retirement of its long-serving chief executive Wal King fuelled Australian interest.

The announcement that Mr King will step aside in January came after months of reports that relations between King and Hochtief had soured.

Hochtief had become increasingly agitated by Mr King's relationship with the Spanish construction company, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Leighton and ACS were jointly tendering for a range of projects in Australia and Asia in the power and water sectors, the report said.

Hochtief said on Thursday it had taken note of the announcement by ACS.

"The executive board is evaluating the situation and will be making an announcement with its response and advice to shareholders as soon as appropriate," Hochtief said in a statement.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options