Leighton to sell Devine stake

Devine has agreed to field offers for Leighton's stake or the company as a whole.

Devine is seeking full-scale takeover offers following an agreement to facilitate Leighton's sale of its 50.6% stake in the Queensland-based residential property developer.

Leighton announced in June it was looking to offload its stake in Devine, but today's agreement will likely propel the process toward a complete takeover.

Devine has already appointed Goldman Sachs to assist in any sale, but the board today recommended to shareholders that a formal sale for all of the company's shares be explored. 

Media reports suggest Japanese groups and locally listed rival AVJennings have shown interest in Devine as part of the Leighton sell-off. 

Devine said there were no assurances that a sale will be finalised or what form the transaction -- if any -- will ultimately take.

"This will depend on, among other things, the expressions of interest received and the attractiveness of any offer for the company," the group said. 

Last month, Leighton said it was considering the sale of a range of assets including its property development, services and John Holland units to help reduce debts. 

Leighton recently has been marred by financial losses, steep write-downs and boardroom infighting, which led to the departure of some senior executives and prompted a string of asset sales aimed at repairing the company's balance sheet.