Züblin sale deadline nears

01 May 2008

The bayerische landesbank (LB) has less than a month to close the sale of the 48,7% share of German contractor Züblin. The bank seized the stake after the collapse of Züblin's parent company Walter Bau in February but no agreement has yet been reached with any potential buyer. Under the contact with Walter Bau's insolvency administrator Werner Schneider, LB must sell the stake by 30 June.

A new bidder, based in southern Germany, emerged last month but no details of the potential buyer, which is not believed to be from the construction sector, have been released.

Hochtief was speculated to be interested in making an offer for the company but did not make a formal bid because it could not reach an agreement with the Lenz family, who hold a 43% share of Züblin. Following similar problems, Austrian contractor Strabag has attempted to improve its prospects by indicating that it will not merge the company with its Germany subsidiary if its bid is successful.

The Lenz family is also trying to gain the majority share of Züblin held by LB. But its plan has been dealt a blow after it failed to gain the necessary credit assurances from Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg. Without these credit guarantees Züblin will not be able to stay in business.

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