BRITISH AEROSPACE yesterday clinched the sale of its Dutch construction subsidiary, Ballast Nedam, to a surprise consortium of Dutch and German interests for pounds 175m.
The deal comes just three weeks after the collapse of the sale of the business to Royal Boskalis, a rival Dutch dredging and construction group.
BAe bought Ballast Nedam for pounds 47m in 1988. The sale price is based on the net asset value of the company, which made a net profit after tax of pounds 21m in 1992.
The consortium buying the business consists of Internationale Nederlanden Group (ING), which has taken a 49.99 per cent stake, Hochtief, a German-based construction group that will hold 48 per cent, and the Ballast Nedam pension fund, which is taking the remaining stake.
A flotation of Ballast Nedam on the Amsterdam bourse is planned for the spring and is likely to result in the bulk of ING's holding being offered to investors.
BAe said the proceeds of the sale would be used to cut its net debts. These stood at pounds 721m at the end of June.
The deal was put together by Hoare Govett, the broking and corporate finance house owned by ABN Amro of the Netherlands.
Jan Stuyt of Hoare Govett said that when the Boskalis deal fell through negotiations were immediately opened with other prospective buyers with the aim of completing a sale in time to include the proceeds in BAe's 1993 accounts.
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