Throughout its history, the ACS Group's growth has been sustainable and profitable, positioning as an international reference in the development, construction and management of infrastructures.
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 strategical 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.
In July 2008, the ACS Group sold its shareholding in Unión Fenosa, maintaining its presence in energy sector through Iberdrola, leading Spanish electricity company, in which the ACS Group is a shareholder with an 18.83% stake at 31 December 2011, which was 14.85% in April 2012 due to the capital increase carried out by Iberdrola derived from scrip dividend scheme and the partial sale of its holding carried out by ACS Group.
In November 2008 ACS started to operate its first solar thermal plant with thermal storage devices in Spain, the plant Andasol I in Granada. This outstanding milestone is the beginning of the international expansion of this activity, as shown the contract awarded in 2011 for the development of a solar thermal project in Nevada (United States) with this technology. Industrial Services area is a worldwide leading company in the construction of renewable energy facilities, both solar thermal plants and wind farms, infrastructures related to electricity generation , such as combined cycle and hydroelectric power plants , infrastructures related to oil industry, such as refineries and platforms and it is a reference company in the development of assets related to gas sector, such as liquefaction plants, regasification plants and massive gas storage facilities.
Grupo ACS, reaffirming the investments performed during 2006, has started integrating Unión Fenosa, which will conform a new area of activity of the company. This integration changes the consolidation perimeter of the Group as, from January 1st, 2007, Unión Fenosa consolidates globally.
During the first months of the year Grupo ACS has subscribed an equity swap on Iberdrola S.A. shares, affecting 2.4% of its capital, payable in cash or shares, at ACS decision.
The 21st of March Grupo ACS acquired the 25.1% of the German construction and concessions Group Hochtief, the third leading construction company in the world with a strong presence in the United States, Central Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. This transaction will provide ACS with a platform to increase and accelerate its international expansion through the development of new concessions.
On March 1st, 2006 the Spanish Stock Market Commission announced the success of the takeover bid launched in November, 2005 for an additional 10% stake of Unión Fenosa. As a result, and in addition to the shares acquired in the stock Exchange afterwards, ACS is the first reference shareholder holding a 40.5% of the share capital of the company.
During the first days of October, ACS acquired a 10% of Iberdrola shares becoming the largest financial shareholder of the company.
Both transactions reaffirmed the Grupo ACS long-term commitment to an industry with forecasts of excellent growth and value creation, while allowing ACS to take a step forward in its strategy of diversifying towards the energy sector, taking positions throughout the entire value chain (development, engineering, installation, maintenance and now operation), in line with its position in transportation infrastructures (development, construction and operation, directly or via Abertis) and in urban service infrastructures, where it is the industry leader in Spain.
On september 22nd, 2005 ACS Group reached an agreement with Banco Santander Central Hispano for the acquisition of a 22% stake in Unión Fenosa, becoming the reference shareholder of the utility company. The expertise and know-how of the ACS Group in the energy sector will promote the coordinated international expansion of both groups, support efficiency improvement programs to be developed in Unión Fenosa, and reinforce the industrial point of view of Unión Fenosa with a long term horizon.
In November, 2005, ACS Group launched a takeover bid for an additional 10% of Unión Fenosa.
2004 was the first full year since the merger with the Dragados Group, constituting a milestone in the history of the ACS Group and consolidating its leadership in the sector. During this year, the ACS Group met the proposed objectives, remarking the development of the operating aspects of the merger and the outstanding economic and financial performance, which have permitted to maintain a strategy of sustainable growth while satisfying the expectations of the Group’s shareholders, clients and employees, as well as those of society.
After acquiring a significant stake in Dragados Group in 2002, a takeover bid was launched in March, 2003 for an additional 10% of the share capital, bringing the stake to 33.5%.
Subsequently, on July 3rd, 2003, the Boards of Directors of the two companies approved the beginning of the merger process, an operation approved by both Extraordinary Shareholders' Meetings on October 14th of the same year.
Soon afterwards, on December 15th, 2003, the new ACS shares were floated, as a result of the merger with Dragados Group.
On April 18th, the ACS Group reached an agreement with Banco Santander Central Hispano for the acquisition of a 23.5% stake in Grupo Dragados, one of the main European construction and services Group.
Leadership consolidation in the infrastructures industry, and preparation of the Group for the new objectives, backed by the excellent operating performance in all the business areas and the solid financial position, as a result of the success of improving management of current assets and the capability of cash generation.
Participation in the new infrastructures for the 21st century: Telecommunications, through Xfera, which has been awarded with an UMTS or third generation mobile telephony licence, and Broadnet, a LMDS wireless fixed telephony operator.
The start-up of the Strategic Plan implied for the ACS Group:
Consolidation of the merger process and heavy emphasis on growth in the Services sector backed up by the Strategic Plan.
The General Shareholders’ Meetings of OCP Construcciones, S.A. and Ginés Navarro Construcciones, S.A. respectively, approved the merger of both companies, which, together with the previously absorbed Auxini, were the genesis of ACS, Actividades de Construcción y Servicios S.A.
The Group's commercial efforts focused on the Construction business, with a preference for civil works. Market share in this sector was increased with the acquisition of a significant stake in Auxini.
Promotion of the Installations and Maintenance area, consolidating totally ACS Group's presence in the Cobra Group, with a takeover merger.
Divestment of those assets not considered to be strategic, leading to the sale of holdings in leisure (Parque de Atracciones de Madrid) and security services (Protecsa).
Merger of Construcciones Padrós, S.A. with OCISA, creating OCP Construcciones, S.A.