Exclusive Bilfinger Sells Building and Facility Operations for $1.3 Billion to Swedish Private Equity Firm EQT

Construction and engineering firm Bilfinger has agreed to sell its building and facility operations for €1.2 billion, or $1.3 billion, to Swedish private equity firm EQT, the German loss-making company said on Thursday. The sale of the operations, which account for 40 percent of Bilfinger’s annual turnover, effectively means the struggling construction firm is breaking itself up . “With additional liquidity, we will expand our position as market leader for industrial services in the process industry through targeted acquisitions and investments in the future,” Bilfinger finance head Axel Salzmann said in a statement. “In this regard, we are focusing on our competence in technology and services, which is greatly appreciated by our customers.” Bilfinger shares were up 4.5 percent at €39.58 at 2.40 p.m. in Frankfurt following the announcement, a 5-week high. Bilfinger’s chief executive Per Utnegaard unexpectedly resigned in April and two supervisory board members refused last month to serve another term, with one citing different views on the company’s strategy. The firm, whose roots date back to 1880, has seen its annual revenue drop by 38 percent since 2009 to €6.5 billion last year as power companies virtually stopped building large gas and coal power plants, one of Bilfinger’s core businesses, because of the country’s shift to wind and solar energy. Bilfinger booked a €489 million loss last year and a €76 million loss in the first three months of this year.   Picture source: Reuters