FIRB clears Hochtief's Leighton bid

Govt won't object to Spanish-owned company's proportional takeover offer.

Construction firm Leighton Holdings' majority shareholder Hochtief has been granted Foreign Investment Review Board approval for its proportional takeover bid.

Investor reaction was muted. Leighton shares fell 0.6% to $20.02 at the 10.15am (AEST) official market open, against a benchmark index fall of 0.9%.

FIRB has notified the parent company that there are no objections to its acquisition of a higher stake in Leighton under the Australian government's investment policy.

Hochtief is controlled by Spanish construction giant Grupo ACS. Its offer of $22.50 per share for three out of eight shares is now unconditional.

Approval of the offer follows the majority shareholder's move to terminate the position of former chief executive officer Hamish Tyrwhitt and install Hochtief CEO Marcelino Fernandez Verdes as his replacement.