Business Round-UP

24 April 2008

OHL bid

Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) chairman Juan-Miguel Villar Mir has made a € 673 million bid to take the Spanish contractor into private ownership. Mr Villar Mir already owns 50,7% of the company and is offering € 15,62 per share for the remaining equity. This values OHL, which had sales of € 2,44 billion last year at € 1,37 billion. However, as CE went to print OHL’s shares were trading above € 21,50, suggesting a higher offer may be required.

Hochtief - Aecon

Hochtief has agreed to sell its 43,3% stake in Canadian construction group Aecon to a syndicate of financial services companies for CA$ 104 million (€ 68,7 million). Hochtief acquired its minority interest in Aecon in 1999. In 2004 it announced plans to fully acquire the company, but was rebuffed by other shareholders. Hochtief’s continued partial ownership of Aecon has been in question since then. Last year Aecon had revenues of CA$ 1.12 billion (€ 740 million) and was Canada’s third largest construction group.

Laing latest

Henderson Infrastructure has put in a revised takeover offer for John Laing, out-bidding German insurer Allianz, which topped Henderson’s original bid in late October. Henderson is now offering UK£ 4,05 (US$ 7,94) per share, valuing Laing at UK$£ 1,00 billion (€ US$ 1,96 billion). Laing is an investment company focused on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) infrastructure concessions in the UK, and has investments in Finland, Norway, Poland and the US.

Rebranding

Husqvarna Construction Products, part of the recently created Husqvarna Group spun off by Electrolux, will market its products under the single Husqvarna brand from the start of 2007. The existing brands of Dimas, Partner and Target will be phased out, however the Diamant Boart name will be retained for stone industry tools.

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