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Hochtief prepares defense against Spanish takeover bid | Business | Deutsche Welle | 13.10.2010

Threatened by a possible hostile takeover, German construction giant Hochtief has enlisted help from the political establishment. The Spanish construction company ACS - which is already the company's largest single shareholder with a nearly 30 percent stake - announced its takeover plans last month.

SPD party leader Sigmar Gabriel will visit Hochtief's headquarters in Essen on Thursday to meet with its works council and gather information about the situation. ACS is set to submit its offer to Germany's financial regulator, BaFin, for review on the same day.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:42:42 AM EST
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This pending take-over has a certain mordant symmetry. A giant German construction company taken over by a Spanish construction company. Spain had the biggest construction bust and Germany financed the largest part of that bust, IIRCC. But how did ACS manage to get into position to even threaten such a feat?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 11:44:41 PM EST
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Simple, ACS is big. If they managed to survive the Spanish crisis they're in a position to take over anyone.

Also, because of the absence of a construction boom in Germany, German construction companies are relatively smaller.

None of this means that ACS' bid is sound. It might be, or not. Takeovers are not about the health of the business.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 01:48:07 AM EST
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off the top of my head w/ no research, i'd say that ACS must expand to other markets because of the slowdown in Spain.  Further, they see Hochtief with a huge coming position constructing in the offshore wind sector.  In fact, hochtief is in a 50% partnership with Beluga Shipping to not only construct, but build construction and transport vessels.

this could be one reason why the german gov is taking a stance to prevent the takeover.

all taking place on the new battlefield of market protectionism (see cf. german giants taking on China over IP, tech transfer steals, and low yuan; or france/Alsom taking on Eurotunnel/Siemens; dollar devaluation.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:25:39 AM EST
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Crazy Horse:
this could be one reason why the german gov is taking a stance to prevent the takeover.
Germany joined the EU to take over others' firms, not the other way around.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 05:44:29 AM EST
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???  SPD chief Gabriel has already called on Merkel to intervene, as well as calling for changes to law to make it harder for hostile takeovers.  bruederle has so far refused, but as in Opel, some action is quite likely.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:20:01 AM EST
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There is one set of rules for German firms and one for others, obviously.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 06:25:05 AM EST
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Pardon? Uhhh...give me a second...I'm updating the Colonialism Disguised As Capitalism Handbook.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Oct 15th, 2010 at 07:29:16 AM EST
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