* Grove consortium buys 43 pct of Aurelis
* Independent investor buys remaining 7 pct of Aurelis
* Deal give Grove near full control of Aurelis
* Sale price close to book value of 250 mln euros
* Hochtief still reviewing options for other property units
(Adds book value at end-September, details on remaining real
FRANKFURT, Feb 3 Hochtief, the German
builder controlled by Spanish group ACS, agreed to sell
its stake in property firm Aurelis and is still looking at
options for its remaining real estate business.
Hochtief said on Monday that a consortium led by Grove
International Partners, which already owns half of Aurelis,
would buy 43 percent of Aurelis, giving the private equity firm
founded by billionaire George Soros almost full control of the
The remaining 7 percent of Aurelis that Hochtief owned are
being bought by an independent investor, it said.
Hochtief said the sale price for its stake in the German
property company was close to the book value as of end-November,
without providing a figure. At the end of September, the book
value of the stake in Aurelis stood at about 250 million euros
($337 million), according to financial statements.
Hochtief said it was still looking at options for its other
real estate businesses, HTP and Formart, which had a book value
of 800 million and 315 million euros, respectively.
The divestments are part of an overhaul aimed at helping
Hochtief cut its debt while it focuses on plans to become one of
the biggest global infrastructure providers.
"This transaction is another significant step in the
delivery of our strategy," Hochtief Chief Executive Marcelino
Fernandez Verdes said.
Hochtief said it would use funds from the Aurelis sale to
strengthen its balance sheet, invest in its core businesses and
BNP Paribas and Macquarie managed the
sale of Hochtief's stake in Aurelis and are handling the review
of HTP and Formart.
($1 = 0.7415 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Arno
Schuetze; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Louise Heavens)