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VIENNA, May 5 (Reuters) - Austrian construction companies Strabag and Porr said several of their offices had been raided over suspected price-fixing, confirming earlier media reports, and sending their shares to the lowest levels in months.
Anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating alleged price agreements regarding road construction projects in the provinces of Carinthia and Styria as well as renovation works on motorways and federal roads between 2008 and 2014, daily Der Standard reported on Friday.
A spokesman for the Austrian anti-corruption prosecutors’ office said it had carried out raids at different locations in the country, declining to elaborate.
The national competition authority confirmed that several construction companies had been raided over allegations of price fixing.
Contracting parties could have suffered damages of at least 100 million euros ($110 million), Der Standard and daily Kurier said, both citing a search warrant.
Strabag, one of Europe’s largest construction companies, said offices in Vienna and in Carinthia had been raided on Wednesday. A Strabag spokeswoman said there would be an internal review and she would not comment further.
Strabag shares fell as much as 7.7 percent to a two-month-low of 34.80 euros. They were 3.4 percent lower at 1024 GMT.
Porr said offices at four of its locations including offices of its Teerag-Asdag unit had been raided over allegations of unlawful agreements on Wednesday. “We have initiated an internal review and cooperate fully with the authorities,” a spokeswoman said.
Porr shares lost as much as 10.7 percent to 29.20 euros, it’s lowest in eight months. They were down 6.9 percent at 1024 GMT.
Austrian media said that many companies, including supplier firms, were suspected of having taken part in the price fixings. More than 20 road-building projects were involved.
$1 = 0.9125 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Francois Murphy