Johannesburg – SA’s largest private education group Curro Holdings [JSE:COH] said on Wednesday it had withdrawn its bid for smaller rival Advtech [ADH] after the target's board last week rejected the offer and declined to refer it to shareholders.
Advtech's board rejected the R6bn ($478m) offer last week, saying that it was not in the best interest of the company.
Curro, however, had the public support of Advtech's two largest shareholders and claimed it had the support of more than 50% of shareholders in total.
Advtech acting chief executive on Tuesday described the relationship between his company's board and Curro as hostile.
Curro said on Wednesday it cannot justify the R13 a share price it offered conditionally after it was denied access to Advtech's books to carry out a due diligence.
Curro said that it had been keen to consolidate the companies' head offices, but would not cut the budgets of schools but the target's board has said that no savings in a merged entity would be possible.
The takeover battle to create a $1.5bn private education giant in South Africa pitted shareholders against parents and exposing tensions over race, language and ethnicity two decades after the end of apartheid.
Shares in Advtech were down 2.44% to R12 by 13:00 GMT, while Curro's stock gained 1.73% to R34.79.