Murray & Roberts sets R9.8bn price tag after snubbing German bid

An independent board of Murray & Roberts says it will not support the buyout of shareholders by a German investment holdings company.
An independent board of Murray & Roberts says it will not support the buyout of shareholders by a German investment holdings company.

Johannesburg - Murray & Roberts sees a fair value for the engineering and construction company at as much as R9.8bn, setting a price tag for Germany’s Helmig family after rejecting an offer last week.

After reviewing an independent report by BDO Corporate Finance, Murray & Roberts values the company at between R20 and R22 a share, it said in a statement on Wednesday. That compares with a R15 offer made by Aton, the Helmig family’s investment group, which already owns a 33% stake.

For its part, Aton reiterated the R15 per share bid, adding that two top-ten shareholders had already agreed to sell out at that level. The offer “will provide Murray & Roberts shareholders with the opportunity to realize significant and attractive value,” it said in an emailed statement.

The group's stock traded 1.3% higher at R14.27 per share at the close of trade on the JSE on Wednesday. That values the company at R6.3bn.

On Thursday, Murray & Roberts [JSE:MUR] shares were trading at R14.44 at 11:07, up 1.19% on the day. 

Aton, which has investments in mining, engineering, aviation and health technology, is making a second attempt at a deal after talks to merge M&R’s underground mining unit with an Aton business broke down two years ago.

On Thursday, Aton said it had agreed to a deal with Cape Town-based money manager Allan Gray to buy shares at R15 each that will boost its shareholding to almost 40%.

In a note to clients dated March 1, analysts at SBG Securities valued the company at R19.80 a share.

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