Aton increases takeover bid for Murray & Roberts for its South African expansion

On Friday, Germany’s ATON said it plans to raise its $400 million takeover bid for South African builder Murray & Roberts (M&R) by 13 percent, bringing it to the sum of $426 million.

Prior to the bid increase, German investment house held nearly 40 percent of the stock, after ATON raised its stake in Murray & Roberts to 44 percent at 17 rand per share, triggering a rule under South African capital market regulations to offer all shareholders the same amount. ATON’s offer underlines its determination to expand in Africa‘s most industrialized economy, whose prospects have improved since Cyril Ramaphosa took over as president with the aim root out corruption and push through business-friendly policies.

Germany’s Helmig family first made an unsolicited bid for the company in March 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 rands transforming itself from a local builder to a multinational focused on the natural resources sector.

The new bid comes after the South African leading engineering, contracting and construction group has been awarded 3.7 billion rand ($312 million) in April, for the underground mining projects in North America and Australasia.

What you should know about Murray & Roberts

Headquartered in Bedfordview, Germiston and South Africa, Murray and Roberts Holdings Ltd. is a South African leading engineering, contracting and construction group that offers civil, mechanical, electrical, mining and process engineering; and management of concession operations.

Murray & Roberts has 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, and often participates in large projects together with competitors in the form of joint venture partnerships. In addition to the many 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.