Billionaire businessman Len Buckeridge has broken his silence over revelations he may carve up his multi-billion empire, claiming yesterday that he was open to selling off part of BGC.
Mr Buckeridge said he would sell the civil contracting arm from the Buckeridge group of companies if he was offered enough money, but claimed he was not actively seeking a buyer.
WestBusiness last week revealed Mr Buckeridge had sought advice from the Australian Taxation Office about the tax effect of a demerger, which court documents said was planned before the end of 2015-16.
Mr Buckeridge revealed yesterday that he sought the tax advice a few years ago after another company sought to buy BGC's civil contracting business.
He said he declined that offer because the proposed price was too low.
"If someone approached us and said here's a fist full of dollars, we'll buy a third of your business, I'd weigh that up and we might well sell it," he said.
"And it would be handy to know in advance that we're not going to be taxed on any profit that we'll make.
"It is not part of a (succession) plan, it's security for the future."
Mr Buckeridge, 77, is still in charge of the civil contracting business, and said he did not have a succession plan in place despite "letting go of the grip" where possible.
He claimed neither his son Sam Buckeridge, who heads up BGC's manufacturing arm, nor his step-son Julian Ambrose, who heads up the housing division, had revealed a desire to take over the civil contracting business.
Mr Buckeridge said he had lost some of his enthusiasm for the business he had built from scratch after the death of a worker at BGC Precast's operation at Naval Base last week.
"With the recent death it really takes the bloody cream off the thing," he said. "I used to love the bloody business but it's a real kick in the arse."
It is understood that even if the civil contracting division does not sell to a third party, there are potential benefits to be realised from spinning it off on its own.A BGC insider said that demerging the civil arm would reduce any potential risk to other parts of the Buckeridge empire from potentially uncapped claims that could arise in the high-risk, high-reward civil contracting business.