Acquisitive international construction group Ferrovial is preparing a US$1.4bn bid for Australian contractor John Holland, according to reports in the Spanish media at the weekend.
The rumours of the bid have not been confirmed by Ferrovial nor by Leighton Holdings, the parent of John Holland. Nor have they been confirmed by ACS, the Spanish contractor that owns a controlling stake in Hochtief, the German contract that holds a controlling stake in Leighton.
John Holland provides services to the transport, energy and resources sectors. Among its projects is Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra (pictured) which it delivered in 1988 at a cost of AUS$1.2bn with joint venture partner Concrete Constructions, one of the largest building projects to be undertaken in Australia at the time.
Last month Leighton announced that it was looking for a buyer for John Holland.
The Australian business community has speculated that Hochtief/ACS was looking to spend the money on raising its stake in Leighton, which has increased from 59% in March to just under 70% at present.Â
Analysts have been divided over the market value of John Holland, with some putting it atÂ US$750m and others as high as US$1.27bn. None went as high as the bid price reported in the Spanish media, though.