The ACS Group began operating in 1983 when a group of engineers acquired Construcciones Padrós, a mid-sized construction company with financial problems located in Badalona (Catalonia). After restructuring this company, the same strategy was employed with the acquisition of OCISA, a prestigious construction company which was larger and had already been in operation for over 40 years.
At the end of the eighties, a diversification process was initiated through the acquisition of SEMI, a company specialised in the maintenance and installation of electricity lines. This process was continued with the purchase of a majority shareholding in Cobra, one of the most renowned companies in the sector of support services to electricity and telecommunications companies, and a market leader with over 80 years’ experience.
The first of the large company mergers took place in 1992 with the creation of OCP, which would be the seed for the Group structured as it is today. OCP became one of the leading construction company groups in Spain. A second large merger took place in 1997, with the creation of ACS as a result of OCP's merger with Auxini and Gines Navarro.
At the end of the nineties, the Group incorporated most of the companies forming its current services area; Onyx, a provider of environmental services; Imes, a company dedicated to public lighting services, integral maintenance and control services; and Vertresa, the largest waste treatment plant in Madrid.
The turn of the century started with the integration of the Dragados Group, which positioned the ACS Group as the indisputable leader in the Spanish market and as one the most important companies in the industry on the European continent.
In 2007, the ACS Group acquired a significant stake in Hochtief, a world leader in infrastructure development with a powerful presence in the USA, Central Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. This operation is designed to provide a platform for the ACS Group to accelerate its international expansion.
During the last years the ACS Group has carried out a strong international expansion process in all its areas of activity, focussing on large-scale projects. This strategy, which is mainly focused on guaranteeing the ACS Group's competitiveness, investment capacity and growth in the future, has been boosting during 2011 through the acquisition of a majority share in Hochtief, which implies an important platform for international growth and with the objective of global leadership in the infrastructure sector. As well, this strategic decision allows increasing the competitive advantages and the profitability of all companies of the Group, as a result of important opportunities of commercial collaboration, operating efficiency and a strengthening of ACS Group financial structure.