ACS sweetens Hochtief offer

By Helen Wright15 December 2010

Hours after the Hochtief board recommended that its shareholders reject a takeover bid from Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS), the Spanish contractor has upped its hostile takeover offer by +12,5%.

The increased bid - which values Hochtief shares at € 64,5 each, compared to the initial € 55,7 offer - puts more pressure on its rival German contractor, which this morning issued a formal recommendation to its shareholders encouraging them to reject ACS's initial bid because it was "financially inadequate".

ACS is now offering nine ACS shares for every five in Hochtief, compared with the initial eight-for-five offer announced in September.

The sweetened offer values Hochtief shares at a +26,5% premium over a three-month weighted average compared to the 16 September stock price, and adds up to a consideration for the whole of Hochtief of € 4,9 billion, compared to the initial consideration of € 2,7 billion.

The new exchange ratio will also apply to shareholders who have already tendered their shares, ACS said.

The initial acceptance period of the offer ends on 29 December, and an additional acceptance period will end on 18 January.

ACS said it was confident it would succeed with the increased offer.

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