Bilfinger Gets Unsolicited Offers for Building Management Unitby
Bilfinger provides building and industrial management services
Company is already selling its power plant building business
Bilfinger SE said it received unsolicited offers to buy its building management unit, a deal that would leave industrial services as the sole remaining business of a company that was once Germany’s second-biggest builder.
After potential buyers expressed interest in buying the 2.4 billion-euro ($2.6 billion) revenue business, Bilfinger appointed external advisers to conduct talks and evaluate market conditions, the Mannheim, Germany-based company said in a statement late Wednesday. The board is evaluating the proposals closely, the company said.
The approaches come three months after Bilfinger Chief Executive Officer Per Utnegaard decided to structure the company as two independent divisions: building and facility, and industrial. At the same time, he announced the intended sale of units with sales topping 1.1 billion euros, adding to plans to sell Bilfinger’s power division, which builds and maintains power plants. Utnegaard joined Bilfinger after several profit warnings that prompted a share price fall of almost a third since April 2014.
A Bilfinger spokesman declined to identify the bidders or say whether the approaches came from private equity or industrial investors. Bilfinger’s industrial division maintains facilities for companies ranging from BASF SE to Statoil SA, and its building and facility division operates office buildings for companies including Deutsche Bank AG and International Business Machines Corp.
Bilfinger’s biggest stakeholder is Cevian Capital AB, an activist investor with a track record of encouraging companies in which it invests to divest divisions to generate greater returns for shareholders.