June 1, 2013 / 12:27 PM / 6 years ago

Bilfinger eyes takeovers in Asia, North America in expansion

The logo of German industrial services provider Bilfinger is pictured on their headquarters in Mannheim January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German construction and industrial services group Bilfinger SE (GBFG.DE) is eyeing an acquisition in Asia or North America to reduce its dependence on the European market, its chief financial officer said.

“It would certainly be good for us to once again make a larger strategically significant takeover as we’ve done at the end of 2009, when we bought Austrian MCE with an enterprise value of 250-300 million euros ($324-389 million),” Joachim Mueller told Germany’s Boersen-Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday.

He said it would be important for market expectations if such a move were to succeed in Asia or North America.

Last month, Bilfinger’s Chief Executive Roland Koch said the company was planning to reduce its dependency on Europe by pushing expansion in Asia and the United States.

Koch said then that 80 percent of the company’s business currently came from Germany and Europe, adding that it had 850 million euros at its disposal for acquisitions.

On Monday, Bilfinger said it was planning to sell its division that operates public-private partnerships as part of its shift from construction-based projects to more predictable industrial services and maintenance work.

The announcement pushed the group’s shares to a near seven-week high.

Mueller said the company was currently in the process of entering negotiations with interested parties, adding that it aimed for a sale of the unit this year.

($1 = 0.7716 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Catherine Evans

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