Strabag boss rules out further Swiss takeovers

The head of Austrian construction sector top dog Strabag SE has rejected claims it was aiming for more acquisitions in Switzerland.

Hans Peter Haselsteiner said today (Thurs) his company would not launch another attempt to take over Implenia. Strabag – Austria’s biggest building company – previously tried to grab a majority share in the firm. Implenia is Switzerland’s leading construction business. The company, which is based in Dietlikon near Zurich, was founded in 2006 when established building companies Zschokke and Batigroup decided to merge.

“We’ll take a break now. We aren’t envisaging any candidates,” Haselsteiner said about the possibility of acquisitions.

The businessman told the Handelszeitung newspaper: “It’s obvious that companies which are in an excellent position are hard to get – and if they are available, they are too expensive.”

Strabag strengthened its position in the non-European Union (EU) member state which borders Austria when it took over Brunner Erben Holding AG (Brunner Erben) and Astrada AG in March.

Strabag said at that time it had no plans to lay off any of the firms’ staff. It also stressed that Brunner Erben and Astrada would not merge to ensure they retained their reputation and standing in Switzerland and abroad.

Strabag carried out orders worth 2.31 billion Euros in the first three months of this year. The company has 72,400 employees in Austria and abroad. It has increased its focus on projects in Poland where infrastructure investments are higher than ever before. Strabag is also operating extensively in Austria and Germany. However, a decline in orders appears likely to occur shortly due to the reduction of public spending in the countries. The Arabian region and Russia are other crucial market places for Strabag.

Strabag’s shares are traded on the Prime Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG). One stock was worth 19.91 Euros at 11am today.