CORRECTED - Hochtief beats rival ACS to $1 bln Golden Gate deal

Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:38am EDT

(Corrects paragraph 2 to say that Hochtief Concessions, not U.S. subsidiary Flatiron, in consortium and adds detail in paragraph 2 and new third paragraph to clarify that the $1 bln is the value of the deal over its 33-year lifetime.

* Hochtief consortium to seal $1 bln Golden Gate Bridge deal

* Final deal to be signed in December

* Hostile bidder ACS lost out in running for project

FRANKFURT, Oct 22 (Reuters) - A consortium led by German construction group Hochtief (HOTG.DE) beat out Spanish predator ACS (ACS.MC) to a breakthrough $1 billion building project at the foot of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

A unit of Hochtief Concessions along with 50 percent partner Meridiam Infrastructure will finance, design, build, operate and maintain for 33 years the access road to the landmark bridge -- called the Presidio Parkway.

A spokeswoman for Hochtief Concessions said the consortium would receive in exchange steady payments from the state amounting to a total of $1 billion over the entire lifetime of the deal.

"At the beginning of October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger already approved the fiscal appropriations necessary for remunerating the private partner," Hochtief said on Friday.

A consortium around Spanish builder ACS, which last month launched a hostile all-share lowball offer for a majority in the German group, was also bidding for the contract, according to Hochtief.

"This is breakthrough for Hochtief's U.S. business," one construction sector analyst said. Another added that it was a sign of Hochtief's financial strength, but doubted it would have an impact on the takeover battle.

The project will replace the southern access road to the Golden Gate Bridge and the final deal is expected to be sealed in December, Hochtief said.

ACS owns a 29.9 percent stake in Germany's biggest building company. In a no-premium approach that values Hochtief at around 3.7 billion euros ($5.15 billion), it aims to hike its holding to above 50 percent. [ID:nSGE69K0BV] (Reporting by Josie Cox; Editing by Michael Shields)

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