Chinese giant CSCEC considers buying Spain’s OHL

Troubled Spanish contractor Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL) has asked China State Construction Engineering Corp (CSCEC), the world’s largest contractor, to consider buying a stake.

According to Spanish news site El Confidencial, the Villar Mir family, who own 51% of OHL, are in advanced talks to sell the company to the state-owned Chinese company.

Madrid-based, internationally active OHL has been dealing with mounting financial problems including debt and a loss of €430m in 2016. As a result, the company’s share price has fallen from €20 in 2014 to €3.40 this week.

In a statement to the market regulator OHL said CSCEC had expressed an interest in buying a stake in the company and had begun due diligence with advice from Goldman Sachs.

Reuters reports that OHL’s main creditors, including Credit Agricole, Santander, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, have warned the Villar Mir Group that the company has short-term debt obligations worth some €500m.

OHL also has some successes to show it its creditors, according to El Confidential.

These include OHL Developments’ Canalejas mixed-use project in the centre of Madrid, half of which was bought by Mark Scheinberg, the founder of the PokerStars website, for a reported €300m. It is also considering the sale of Fertial, its Algerian fertiliser company, and silicon metals firm Ferroglobe.

Image: A recent project of OHL is the historic Canalejas development in the centre of Madrid (Creative Commons)

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