(Corrects spelling of outgoing CEO's name in paragraph 3)
SYDNEY, March 13 German builder Hochtief AG
has installed its chief executive at the helm of
majority-owned Leighton Holdings Ltd and claimed more
seats in the boardroom, cementing its grip on the Australian
company that supplies much of its profit.
In a statement on Thursday, Hochtief also said it has
marginally sweetened a bid to increase its stake in Australia's
biggest builder to about 74 percent from 58.77 percent
currently. Hochtief is now offering A$1.205 billion ($1.08
billion), up from the A$1.155 billion it first offered on
Hochtief said on Thursday that Leighton's chief executive
Hamish Tyrwhitt resigned after the offer, which is subject to
the approval of Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.
Tyrwhitt will be immediately replaced by Hochtief's chief
executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes, the German company said.
Leighton's chief financial officer also resigned, Hochtief
said, without naming a successor. The pair also resigned from
Under terms of the offer, Hochtief said it would offer
A$22.50 cash per share to acquire 3 out of every 8 shares it
doesn't already own in Leighton, up from Monday's A$22.15 offer.
Leighton shares dropped 0.6 percent after the announcement
to A$22.12 as of 0018 GMT.
The German company, in turn controlled by Spain's ACS
, said it has appointed two new representatives on the
Australian firm's 10-member board in addition to its two
existing directors. Three current independent directors will
leave later in the year, the company added.
Leighton's independent directors unanimously support the
revised offer, and intend to recommend shareholders accept the
offer if there is no superior proposal, Hochtief said.
($1 = 1.1146 Australian Dollars)
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)