VIENNA Dec 15 Hochtief, the German
construction and industrial services provider controlled by
Spain's ACS, has struck a compromise with the city of
Hamburg that will end a legal battle over a concert hall there,
the company said.
The Elbphilharmonie development had turned out to be a
costly project for Hochtief due to disputes with Hamburg over
construction delays. The spat contributed to a surprise
second-quarter loss at the group.
The new deal calls for project costs including planning to
be fixed at 575 million euros ($753.8 million) and the hall to
be built within 40 months, Hochtief said on Saturday.
It said new contracts should be agreed by the end of
February 2013, ending legal skirmishes in the case.
The hall was originally supposed to cost 241 million euros
but Hamburg had to chip in another 137 million in 2008. Hochtief
had said in July that another 60 million was in dispute, but has
not said what provisions it has set aside.
"Restructuring the project will be made possible because all
the parties are prepared to make extensive financial
concessions," Chief Executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes said,
"Our company will expend many millions of euros, provide
comprehensive guarantees and take on much more responsibility to
build the Elbphilharmonie as quickly and as well as possible."
($1 = 0.7628 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Alison Williams)