German engineering and industrial services firm Bilfinger has agreed the sale of its construction division to Implenia, reporting net gains of €230 million from the deal.
The move to part with a large degree of its civil engineering operations comes amid a turbulent period for the Mannheim-based company - which had faced a series of profit warnings this year.
This led to Bilfinger forecasting a revenue loss for 2014 that it attributed to challenging conditions in its power business, as the German energy market moves towards more environmentally sustainable sources.
Last month, the company had issued a trading report that showed its overall order book stood at €5.12 billion, down 9% year-on-year – having recorded €5.6 billion for the same period in 2013.
The company said it would now focus on engineering and services for industrial facilities. It also owns construction operations in Poland, which it is seeking to sell.
Herbert Bodner, chairman of the executive board at Bilfinger, said the sale of its construction assets to Swiss-based Implenia was a necessary move that had been given considerable thought.
It is due to be completed in first quarter of 2015, following examination from international anti-trust authorities. The two companies have previously worked on a number of projects together over the past 15 years including the Gotthard Base Tunnel and Zurich Cross-City Link.
Bodner said, “Parting with what has been our traditional business for such a long time is not easy for us. It is therefore all the more pleasing that we have found a buyer like Implenia.
“We are certain that we are putting the construction division in good hands. It will have very good development prospects in the new group of companies.”
According to Implenia CEO Anton Affentranger, the acquisition of Bilfinger’s construction division would lead to further growth for the company, which has taken on a number of specialised infrastructure projects in Austria, Norway and across Europe.