The ACS Group is a world benchmark in the construction and infrastructure development industry, both civil and industrial.
The French Vinci comes for all with its offer of more than 5,000 million for ACS’s industrial services business, as Cinco Días announced today. The French infrastructure conglomerate has approached the company chaired by Florentino Pérez, with a non-binding proposal by the industrial division, whose head is ACS Servicios Comunicaciones y Energía. “The indicative value of the perimeter of Vinci’s proposal represents a company value of around 5,200 million euros, of which 2,800 million would be paid at least in cash and the difference can be paid in Vinci shares or in cash,” he explains ACS through a note sent this morning to the CNMV in which it ratifies the information in this newspaper.
Revealed the negotiations, the price of ACS soars more than 16% after the opening of the market. Vinci’s interest includes engineering and works activities, participation in eight concessions and public-private collaboration (PPP) projects in energy, as well as the development platform for new projects in the renewable energy sector.
The ACS industrial division reached a turnover of 6,300 million last year. His net income was 600 million euros.
The ACS board has already studied the offer of the French rival and has given the management a free hand to continue with the negotiations. “The closing of the operation is subject to a review process (due diligence) that will be carried out in the coming months”, it is noted in the statement sent to the CNMV.
The process will include an examination of the necessary actions for the segregation (carve out) of the activities that would not be sold to Vinci, among which are Zero-E and 15 concessions. If it goes ahead, the operation would be subject to the necessary regulatory authorizations, particularly in competition matters. Vinci already has a powerful energy division, in addition to being a reference in infrastructure or construction concessions.
Until now, a plan to sell the industrial services subsidiary has never transpired. Only one leg of the business, Cobra, has a turnover of 4.2 billion, half in America. Other ACS references in this business are Dragados Offshore, Cymi, ETRA, Imesapi, Initec Energía, Intecsa, MASA, Makiber, SEMI and SICE.
ACS has specialized throughout these years in providing services to utilities with companies such as the aforementioned Cobra or with Dragados Industrial; It also carries out important projects of its own, especially in renewables. But the time has come to listen to offers.
The more than possible divestment comes in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, and at a critical time for the Spanish infrastructure leader. ACS has suffered this year due to Cimic’s activity in the Middle East, from where it has left with the subsidiary BICC with heavy losses. The provision for the first of the year was 400 million.
If these first contacts crystallize, the transfer of the ACS industrial construction company would be one of the largest corporate transactions of the year in Europe. The Industrial Services division is focused on the development, construction, maintenance and operation of energy, industrial and mobility infrastructures. It is also active in the water and environmental infrastructure business. Its lines have a presence in 60 countries.
A divestment of this scale would be understood as a strategic shift to focus ACS’s activity on the construction and exploitation of infrastructures, where it has references such as Dragados, Hochtief, Iridium and 50% in Abertis.