The dismemberment of Henry Walker Eltin, the Darwin-based contractor now in administration, has started with the sale of its Simon Engineering division to Abigroup. Check out the Abigroup statement here.

Staff at Simon Engineering still employed will be offered jobs by Abigroup, owned by the Bilfinger construction group of Germany, on the same conditions and basis as they now have.

Bilfinger, which already operates the Baulderstone Hornibrook construction business in Australia, mopped up Abigroup early in 2004 in a takeover that took out minority shareholders.

German construction companies have not had a good press recently in Australia following the collapse of Walter Construction group (the old Concrete Constructions) while Hochtief, the German-based 53% shareholder in Leighton Holdings, has seen the value of its stake slide with Leighton releasing an interim profit statement that raised questions about the quality of its earnings.

The Abigroup takeover of Simon Engineering will happen on March 10. No price was given in the release to HWE staff today.

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