Hochtief Said to Hire BNP, Macquarie for Unit Sales

Hochtief AG, Germany’s biggest builder, has hired BNP Paribas SA and Macquarie Group Ltd. to explore options for two of its property-development units, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

All options are open for the assets, including a sale and a partnership, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The two units, HTP and Formart, may attract financial investors as well as property development companies, said one of the people. Hochtief, BNP and Macquarie declined to comment.

The Essen-based builder said in February it was considering a sale of real-estate development, facility and energy-management businesses in addition to plans to offload the airport unit. Chief Executive Officer Marcelino Fernandez Verdes, who took over in November and comes from majority owner Actividades de Construccion & Servicios SA of Spain, is reversing a decade-long strategy of expanding into services.

Hochtief’s real-estate unit, which also includes property-management businesses HTPM and Aurelis, employs 1,350 people and posted a net income of 28 million euros ($36 million) in 2012. Formart’s developments comprise residential real-estate projects, while HTP develops properties that are sold to investors “at an early stage,” according to the website of Hochtief.

Hochtief’s past projects include Frankfurt’s Commerzbank tower, Germany’s tallest building.

The stock fell as much as 1 percent to 50.76 euros and was trading 0.6 percent lower as of 11:24 a.m. in Frankfurt. The stock has climbed 16 percent this year, valuing the company at

3.9 billion euros.

Rival Bilfinger SE is considering bidding for Hochtief’s services units in order to get access to their customers, Chief Executive Officer Roland Koch said last month.