Exclusive Exclusive: U.S. Investor KKR In Lead to Buy Bilfinger's Building Management Division

U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is the top candidate to buy the building management divison of Bilfinger, the struggling German construction and engineering company, people familiar with the matter told business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, a sister publication of Handelsblatt. Investors have the best cards to buy the unit and KKR was in the lead among the financial parties, the people told the magazine. The operations, which had annual sales of €2.6 billion, could be sold for around €1 billion, or fourteen times its annual earnings, the people said. KKR and Bilfinger refused to comment on the information when approached by WirtschaftsWoche. When Bilfinger’s chief executive Per Utnegaard last year presented his plans to pursue a two-pillar strategy at the construction company, he said the building management and construction division and the industrial services division were not for sale. Last week, however, the firm said it had received offers for the first unit and it had hired advisors, who would value the operations and participate in talks with potential buyers.