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ESSEN, GERMANY-The locally based construction group Hochtief in early December hastily called off its planned IPO of its industrial infrastructure subsidiary Hochtief Concessions, citing the Dubai crisis as having disturbed capital markets, which made an IPO no longer feasible without restrictions.

Group CEO Herbert Ltkestratkötter commented: “As an active portfolio manager, our claim has always been not to sell in any case for less than our target value. We have always said so and continue to be under no pressure.” The steps taken to date towards a capital market transaction nonetheless had positive aspects. Syndicate banks clearly confirmed asset values, and the cancellation of the IPO has no impact on the company’s further growth. The group had aimed to float the unit by the end of 2009, targeting the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

It planned to continue to hold majority equity in Hochtief Concessions after the listing, which will also encompass a capital increase for the unit. Hochtief board member Peter Noé was earmarked as chairman of the newly listed company, which will target real estate project investment of €500 million over the next five years, of which €321 million alone in Hochtief’s Budapest Airport project. Hochtief Concessions will also target future investments of up to €100 million in projects on which the parent group has the status of preferred bidder.

Hochtief Concessions has a portfolio at end-2008 of some €1.5 billion across business areas that include airports, roads, social infrastructure and public-private partnership projects. This comprised six airport holdings, seven roads, 91 schools, two town halls, a community center, a military base, two geothermal energy projects and two investment partnerships. It is the parent company of Hochtief AirPort and Hochtief PPP Solutions.

Allan Saundersonis a managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

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