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Hochtief Seeking Bids For Its Airports Unit

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Hochtief is again seeking bids for its airport unit, two people with knowledge of the matter said, as the new head of the German firm installed by Spanish parent ACS asserts control over the builder.

Hochtief, whose chief executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes is a close confidant of ACS head Florentino Perez, has invited bids for the airports by the end of March, said the sources, who declined to be identified as the sales process is confidential.

A spokesman for Hochtief confirmed that the company aims to sell its stakes in airports in Budapest, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Sydney and Tirana, but declined comment on details. No buyer could currently be found for its hub in Athens, he added.

Hochtief had halted the sale of the six stakes in January last year due to difficult market conditions. It had initially hoped to get EUR€1.5 billion (USD$2 billion) for the division.

A source representing a potential buyer of the assets said on Thursday the builder could now fetch EUR€1.2 billion in the sale.

French construction group Vinci, China's HNA Group, parent of Hainan Airlines, and a consortium of airport operator Fraport and Deutsche Bank fund RREEF had been among the bidders before the sale was suspended last year.

(Reuters)

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