International Acquisitions: Spains Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) Battle for Control of Germanys Hochtief (HT)

Howard Sutton, Kirstin Bremser, Joachim Paul


In March 2007 ACS purchased a holding in Hochtief of 25.08%, at this time ACS stated that this was purely a strategic holding and no further involvement was planned. However, in September 2010 ACS announced that it intended to bid for the remaining shares. This started an exhaustive hostile takeover battle in which both parties used all instruments available to achieve their goals. Most literature considering acquisitions address either the question of how to select the most appropriate target or how to integrate the target once acquired (Post Acquisition Integration). This paper considers the key phase between target selection and PAI; that of convincing the current owners to sell their holdings to the acquiring company. This often public battle for control is crucial for the success of the acquisition company´s strategy. This paper documents the battle for Hochtief by ACS in detail. Firstly, the relevant industries in which the companies are active are described briefly. Secondly, the company´s current positions, controlling structures and driving personalities are introduced. Finally, the development of both the acquisition and defence tactics used by combatants is described in detail, which eventually resulted in ACS gaining control of Hochtief in June 2011.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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