June 3, 2014 / 10:43 AM / 3 years ago

Porr CEO says interested in buying Bilfinger unit

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian construction company Porr is interested in buying some or all of German rival Bilfinger’s civil engineering division, its chief executive told Reuters.

“It could be a meaningful combination in our markets, especially Germany and Poland, but Austria and Romania are also not to be underestimated,” Karl-Heinz Strauss, also a major shareholder, said in an interview. “Everything fits, actually.”

Bilfinger, which wants to wean itself off a business model vulnerable to price wars, said last week it was accepting expressions of interest in its civil engineering division and was preparing the unit for sale.

Sources had told Reuters that investment bank Rothschild, which is organizing the sale that may be worth around 200 million euros ($272 million), had sent the first information packages to potential buyers.

Strauss said Porr, which raised 119 million euros by issuing new shares in April, would have no problem in financing the acquisition, although it was too early to go into details.

He also said that Porr’s 945 million-euro contract to build part of a new underground railway for Doha, the biggest deal in the company’s history, would go ahead even if bribery allegations forced the 2022 soccer World Cup to move from Qatar.

“This contract concerns infrastructure measures for Doha which will be built in any case, World Cup or no World Cup.”

Porr shares pared gains to trade 1.7 percent higher at 50.31 euros by 1038 GMT. Bilfinger shares were down 0.9 percent to 85.65 euros, while the European construction index was down 0.4 percent.

Reporting by Angelika Gruber; Writing by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Louise Heavens and Michael Shields

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