“Happy families are all alike,” wrote Leo Tolstoy in the introduction to Anna Karenina. But “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
So it is with some of the companies acquired by Madrid-based ACS Group during the past few years, particularly Hochtief, Germany’s largest contractor, and Flatiron Construction, a Colorado civil contractor acquired by Hochtief in 2007.
They’re becoming more Spanish and they don’t like it. In Flatiron’s case, the loss of control has led to the exodus of top people, among them the president of its most profitable division.