German engineering giant Bilfinger says it is confident that it will find a buyer for its power business, after reaching a decision to offload it, following five profit warnings in the last year.
The unit, which is concerned primarily with power plant maintenance and servicing, has suffered badly during Germany’s Energiewende and now 11,000 jobs are at risk.
“We are confident that we will be able to find a new owner with experience in the project business that can take advantage of the future potential of the segment, primarily outside of Germany,” said CEO Per Utnegaard, who took over on June 1.
“Since the burdens of the Power business have increased again, we wanted to act without further delay and start the sale process,” Utnegaard told Reuters by email. Bilfinger said it aimed to close a deal within a year.
The company’s attempts to expand into often unfamiliar territory abroad were largely unsuccessful, and on Wednesday the company said it would sell its remaining 10 per cent stake in a subsidiary of Julius Berger Nigeria.
It said it expected net proceeds of about 100 million euros from this and the already announced sale of its stake in the parent Nigerian company in the second and third quarters.
Bilfinger’s Sascha Bamberger gave Power Engineering international more detail on the reasoning for its decision, saying, “In view of the difficult situation in the German market, a further internationalization of Bilfinger Power is necessary. Such a move requires an expansion of the project business, which at about 60 per cent today already makes up a significant portion of the segment’s output volume, and is thus no longer in line with the strategy and risk profile of Bilfinger as an engineering and services group.”
“We are confident that we will be able to find a new owner with experience in the project business that can take advantage of the future potential of the segment, primarily outside of Germany.”
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