Leighton could put Thiess up for sale

Speculation is mounting that Leighton Holdings has plans to sell Thiess.

The news comes after Leighton offloaded John Holland for $1.5 billion in December amid a major shake-up at the company.

The Australian Business Review reports selling Thiess could net Leighton about $2 billion and has become more appealing to the company since a deal to offload Leighton Properties to Stockland fell through just before Christmas.

Last year Spanish firm Hochtief increased its share in Leighton from 58.77 per cent to almost 75 per cent and since that time has embarked on a wide-reaching review of the company and its business arms.

Hochtief quickly flagged plans to change the structure of the business model of Leighton’s five companies.

Hochtief announced it would simplify its operations in to four new divisions – construction, mining, public-private partnerships (PPPs), and engineering

Spanish construction group ACS owns more than 50 per cent of Hochtief and is aiming to create a streamlined global company.

It has previously stated that Leighton businesses such as Thiess, John Holland and Leighton Contractors could be "more efficiently structured."

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