CONTRACTOR PHILIPP Holzmann's decision this week to reduce its stake in design, build, finance and operate roads consortium Connect was prompted by the sale of the German firm's 29.5% stake in Tilbury Douglas last year.
Holzmann decided its Connect stake was too big in relation to returns it could expect to make from spin off subcontracts.
Connect shareholder WS Atkins this week said it was increasing its stake in Connect from 5% to 22.5% for an undisclosed sum, as a result of Holzmann's decision to cut its holding from 47.5% to 30%. Connect's other shareholder BICC retains its 47.5% stake.
Connect has recently completed construction of the A50 Stoke to Derby road and is also working on the privately financed A30/A35 upgrade.
Holzmann originally took a 47.5% stake in Connect because it wanted to combine profits from the equity investment with profits from spin-off subcontracts awarded to Tilbury Douglas. It decided that its equity investment was disproportionately high after selling its Tilbury Douglas stake.