ACS publishes bid for German rival Hochtief

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Spain's largest construction group ACS on Wednesday formally published its takeover offer for Hochtief and said shareholders in the German firm have until December 29 to tender their shares.

The announcement came a day after Germany's financial regulator, Bafin, gave the green light to the deal, which would create one of the world's biggest construction firms.

"From today, shareholders of Hochtief may tender their shares to ACS," the Spanish group said in a statement.

"The acceptance period will end at 12 midnight CET on December 29. ACS expects the entire offer to be completed by early February 2011."

ACS, which already holds just under 30 percent of Hochtief, Germany's largest public works group, wants to take a controlling stake through an all-share swap.

Hochtief's management has said the offer undervalues the firm, however, although it has stopped short of publicly declaring the bid hostile.

ACS emphasized Wednesday that "Hochtief will remain a German-listed company with a substantial free float (of shares), headquartered in Essen" and that it will not divest any of the German group's units.

© 2010 AFP

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