ACS says it has raised bid for Hochtief
Spanish construction giant ACS said Wednesday it was raising its offer for Hochtief by 12.5 percent after the German group urged its shareholders to reject the initial proposal but said it was open for talks.
ACS said in a note to the Spanish stock market authority it was offering nine of its shares, instead of eight, for every five of Hochtief, which would value each Hochtief share at 64.49 euros.
It added that the new bid would apply to Hochtief shareholers who have already pledged support to the initial offer.
Hochtief management early Wednesday recommended that its shareholders reject the initial approach by ACS but said it was prepared to open talks with the Spanish group.
"I think discussions could begin shortly," Hochtief head Herbert Luetkestratkoetter said in a conference call.
He added that ACS had also shown signs of a willingness to talk.
The ACS bid for Hochtief was launched on December 1 and is to remain valid until December 29.
Hochtief management has never concealed its opposition to the ACS approach, maintaining that it undervalues the company, but until Wednesday it had not issued an official recommendation to shareholders.
ACS is already the leading Hochtief shareholder, with a stake of 27.2 percent.
© 2010 AFP