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Bilfinger Selling the Family Silver

Bilfinger building construction work mechanic skyline source obs Bilfinger Berger AG 13642995
With the sale, Bilfinger is trying to revive its fortunes.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    By selling one of its most lucrative assets, Bilfinger needs to revive its remaining businesses to become a profitable firm again.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The sale of its construction and real estate services operations will deplete Bilfinger of its key profit motor.
    • The firm has suffered as power companies virtually stopped building large gas and coal power plants, one of Bilfinger’s core businesses, because of Germany’s shift to wind and solar energy.
    • Bilfinger had a turnover of €6.5 billion and recorded a loss of almost half a billion last year.
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    Audio

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After months of deliberating, the industrial services and construction conglomerate Bilfinger decided, in the end, to follow the money.  The company will sell its construction and real estate services unit to the Swedish private equity group EQT for a higher than expected €1.2 billion, or $1.3 billion.

The sale is a last ditch effort to generate funds for the crisis-ridden firm. It means that the company will wave goodbye to around 40 percent of its sales and the once great German construction group will be left focused solely on industrial plant services and its power plant business.

The deal still needs the green light from the competition authorities but under the agreement, Bilfinger would soon receive €900 million, with the other €300 million due when the unit is sold on. Once the sale takes place, Bilfinger would take 49 percent of the profit.

“The price is very good,” said acting chief executive officer Axel Salzmann, adding that the company faced new opportunities to strengthen its industrial business and boost its finances.

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