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Plans to boost Austrian service provision 06 Jul 2017

Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk

After striking basic agreement in May to join forces, the details of plans for a joint future for Austrian contractors Porr and Hinteregger have been explained to TunnelTalk.

Hinteregger is a private family-owned construction company operating in the heavy civil and tunnelling industries and is owned jointly by a second part of the family, which operates a second family company Brandstetter. The two parts of the family are joint 50% shareholders in both companies and together Hintereger and Brandstetter bought the construction divisions of the Dywidag Group when its then owner filed bankruptcy in 2005.

Porr and Hintergger are working together in a JV on two contracts for the Stuttgart 21 rail project in Germany
Porr and Hintergger are working together in a JV on two contracts for the Stuttgart 21 rail project in Germany

It was the Brandstetter arm of the family that initiated the negotiations after expressing a desire to sell its shares in both Hinteregger and Branstetter.

On being approached by the private family, Karl-Heinz Strauss, CEO of the Porr AG group of Austria pursued the opportunities of acquiring the civil construction assets and resources. As part of the arrangement, the 50% of Dywidag owned by Brandstetter will be transferred to Hinteregger and through the planned sale of Hinteregger to Porr AG, 100% of the Dywidag shares would be acquired also by Porr.

“The service range and corporate culture of Hinteregger is an ideal fit for us and would boost each of us as full service providers,” said CEO Strauss in a statement. “Our teams already know each other well from joint projects and enjoy mutual respect. We would continue with the well-established Hinteregger name, so that we can continue to nurture the longstanding tradition and existing customer relationships well into the future.”

This transaction appeals to G. Klaus Hinteregger family in two regards. The Hinteregger suiness and it company will be in good hands with Porr and the foundations are laid for the ongoing successful future of its 100% interest in Dywidag.

The proposed acquisition agreement between Hinteregger and Porr AG is is subject to approval by the Austrian competition authorities and is accompanied with a guarantee of no full merger for at least two or three years.

“With agreement of the acquisition from the authorities, Hinteregger would operate within the Porr AG Group as an independent entity,” explained Rainer Rengshausen, Managing Director of Porr Bau GmbH. “Hinteregger is similar in civil contracting operation, although smaller, to Porr Bau and we would continue to operation separately within Porr AG. Hinteregger for example would not be a subsidiary of Porr Bau.”

The two construction companies know each other well and have worked together on construction projects over the years. “We are currently working in full joint venture on two large tunnelling contracts for the Stuttgart 21 railway project in Germany,” said Rengshausen “as well as on two hydro projects in Austria. It makes absolute sense that the two companies join forces for the future.”

Founded in 1914 in Salzburg, Hinteregger has contributed to the building of more than 49 run-of-river and high-alpine power plants and has excavated more than 481km of hydro, road and rail tunnels and recently teamed with Strabag to take over completion of the GKI hydro project in the Inn Valley near Innsbruck.

Porr AG, based in Vienna, is an international construction company and as well has working currently on the Stuttgart 21 project in JV with Hinteregger, recently completed all TBM tunnelling on its Green Line contract for the Doha Metro.

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