German construction giant sells Australian unit

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German construction firm Bilfinger Berger said Tuesday it would sell Australian unit Valemus to Land Lease, another Australian construction group, making proceeds of 700 million euros (923 million dollars).

The net selling price amounted to 1.060 billion Australian dollars (1.060 billion dollars, 801 million euros) said Bilfinger Berger, Germany's second largest construction company, in a statement.

"The transaction is subject to approval from the Australian antitrust authorities and completion is expected in the first quarter of 2011," the statement added.

The German firm will have to repay an intra-company loan of 125 million euros to Valemus.

"The sale of Valemus Australia, which will generate an output volume of over three billion euros in 2010, is a significant step for Bilfinger Berger in the reduction of the company's construction business as planned," said the firm.

Bilfinger said it would reinvest the proceeds in its services business, such as running airports.

© 2010 AFP

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