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Since ACS took effective control of Hochtief in 2011, the German firm has undergone many changes to increase its profitability, among them the sale of airports for about €1.8 billion ($2.5 billion) last year.
Hochtief has in turn been seeking to increase its control over Leighton. On March 10, 2014, Hochtief announced a conditional, proportional off-market offer to acquire 3 out of 8 shares held by shareholders of Leighton.
As a result of the offer, which closed on May 9, 2014, Hochtief now holds 69.62 percent of the shares of Leighton, an increase of 10.85 percentage points from the previous 58.77 percent stake. Hochtief had aimed to increase its stake up to 74.23 percent.
Within the framework of this transaction Hochtief invested approximately €574 million to buy about 37.49 million shares at a price of AUD 22.50 per share.
Marcelino Fernández Verdes, CEO of Hochtief, said:
"The result of the offer allows us to make a very significant reinvestment of capital in our core business and represents an important further step in the delivery of our strategy. We are convinced of the significant potential at Leighton."
Leighton's independent directors unanimously supported the offer and recommended acceptance.
Leighton grew its 2013 full year net profit by 13 % to A$509 million. The company has forecasted 2014 net profit to be from A$540 million to A$620 million, helped by strong mining activity and better margins.