Leighton chief dismisses Hochtief play

Leighton chief unconcerned by Hochtief's recent stake increase.=

Leighton Holdings chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt is unconcerned about controlling shareholder Hochtief's recent stake increase, despite analyst fears the company will aim to take more control over Leighton's strategy, The Australian Financial Review reports.

"We've got a supportive shareholder, we want supportive shareholders," Mr Tyrwhitt told the newspaper.

Germany's Hochtief is owned by Spanish construction group Grupo ACS, and some of its staff have already taken up roles at Leighton.

Mr Tyrwhitt said their knowledge is valuable to Leighton, while the Australian business gives its shareholder a foothold in Asia.

"Collectively, we [ACS] are the world's largest non-Chinese construction group with a full global footprint and that's really exciting," he told the AFR.

"I see us [as] unconstrained geographically."

Leighton needs to focus not only on Australia but also on exporting skills to other markets, he said.