Murray & Roberts awarded $312 million for mining projects amidst takeover bid

South Africa’s leading engineering, contracting and construction group, Murray & Roberts Holdings (M&R), has been awarded payment for the construction of new underground mining projects.

The company on Tuesday said it has been awarded 3.7 billion rand ($312 million) for the underground mining projects in North America and Australasia, Reuters reported.

Additional contracts would be for diamond, gold, copper, salt and platinum mines and the projects are scheduled for delivery in two to three years, the group said.

With a primary focus on the resources-driven construction markets in industry & mining, oil & gas and power & energy in Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australasia and North and South America, Murray & Roberts often participate in large projects together with competitors in the form of joint venture partnerships.  Asides several buildings, the group has been involved in the construction of major projects including the Gautrain railroad, the Medupi Power Station, and the Cape Town Stadium.

However, the South African based engineering and construction group is currently subject of a takeover bid, as Germany’s Helmig family made an unsolicited bid for the company valued that about R6.7 billion ($574 million).

M&R rejected ATON’s buyout offer as “opportunistic” and poor value. The company is reluctant to sell cheaply, having spent billions of rand transforming itself from a local builder to a multinational focused on the natural resources sector.

Despite management opposition, Aton on Thursday said it had raised its stake in M&R to 33.1 percent and will begin an offer to buy the remaining shares at 15 rand each. There was an increase in Murray & Roberts shares, following the offer from Aton.

ATON, however, noted that the M&R shareholders would still have to decide on the offer.