Senior casualties mount as CFO departs Hochtief

Burkhard Lohr has resigned from Hochtief, following in the footsteps of chief executive Herbert Lütkestratkötter. His resignation is related to ACS’ eventual takeover of Hochtief, as its holding in the German firm approaches 43%

Burkhard Lohr, chief financial officer and a member of the executive board of Hochtief, has become the third senior executive to resign from the firm as a result of Spanish firm ACS’ ongoing takeover of the German company. He will be stepping down from his role on October 18.

Burkhard Lohr

Hochtief said Lohr made use of a special termination right related to ACS owning more than 30 percent of the German firm. ACS currently owns close to 43 percent of Hochtief. Lohr has been with Hochtief for almost 20 years and has been a member of the company’s executive board for over five years. Hochtief has yet to announce his replacement.

Lohr’s resignation follows the departure of chief executive Herbert Lütkestratkötter, announced last Monday, who will be retiring as from the end of Hochtief’s general shareholders meeting on May 12. Lütkestratkötter will be replaced by Frank Stieler, the current head of Hochtief Europe, in an appointment backed by ACS. 

Earlier in March, Peter Noé, also a member of Hochtief’s executive board and head of its concessions and Asia units, resigned from the firm, with effect from September 10, citing the same termination clause employed by Lohr. 

The departures are not entirely surprising given that Hochtief’s board did its best to fend off the ongoing takeover by majority shareholder ACS, first announced in September 2010. Outgoing chief executive Lütkestratkötter famously dubbed ACS’ takeover as “unsolicited” and of “no value to Hochtief shareholders”.

ACS is continuing its takeover of Hochtief, aiming to acquire majority control of the German company by May. This will allow for full financial consolidation of Hochtief, help ACS cut its debt and increase its geographical exposure, moving the firm away from the troubled Spanish market.