French group ENGIE eyes Bilfinger businesses

MIPIM 2016: French energy and services group ENGIE has been shortlisted to buy Bilfinger’s property businesses, including Bilfinger GVA.

ENGIE, previously known as GDF Suez, is listed in Paris and has a market cap of €34bn (£26.7bn).

The area of the business which any Bilfinger businesses would be integrated with would be its workplace services division, previously known as Cofley GDF Suez, which provides energy and technical advice and facilities management to built environment firms.

In 2013 Cofley also acquired facilities management firm Balfour Beatty WorkPlace as it looked to expand the business and enhance efficiencies of scale.

As well as ENGIE, JLL, Swedish private equity firm EQT and a German private equity firm are shortlisted to buy Bilfinger’s property businesses.

An announcement on a reduced shortlist of two was initially expected to be announced at a press conference later this morning on its full-year results but the timetable and progress on due diligence is understood to have slipped marginally.

The company’s trading update released this morning said: “Bilfinger has received offers from various interested parties for parts of the building and facility segment. The executive board is reviewing the offers in the interest of the company without bias as to the outcome. The review has not yet been completed and will take another few weeks.

“A decision on a possible sale would have far-reaching consequences for the future positioning and strategy of the group. The review is therefore being conducted with tremendous care – the emphasis is on diligence over speed. As soon as the relevant decisions have been taken in the executive board and the supervisory board, Bilfinger will provide timely information and a comprehensive strategy update.”

Bilfinger intends to sell the businesses as an entire package. However, any purchaser interested in retaining only certain elements for the long term – essentially split between those focusing on facilities management or transactions – would have the option to undertake sub-trades.

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