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Construction giant CIMIC looks set to scoop up mining services firm Macmahon Holdings as part of its buying spree.

A month after wrapping up the $524 million acquisition of engineering and maintenance firm UGL, the Spanish-controlled group unveiled a bid for Macmahon that values the company at $174 million.

CIMIC – which is already Macmahon’s biggest shareholder with a 20.5 per cent stake – said on Tuesday it is offering 14.5 cents a share.

That’s a 32 per cent premium on Macmahon’s stock price prior to the bid. The shares rose as high as 15 cents in the wake of the announcement.

Macmahon said its board is considering its response to CIMIC’s bid, and advised shareholders to take no action.

CIMIC, which is 72.5 per cent owned by Spain’s ACS Group, has flagged an overhaul of Macmahon’s operations should it secure control of the 54-year-old Perth-based company.

“The outcome of this strategic review may result in changes to the structure of the operating businesses, including changes to the way the businesses are managed, changes to the number of employees and their functions required in each operating business, and the possible divestment of certain assets or businesses,” CIMIC said in a 51-page bidders statement.

Macmahon manages mines for some of the world’s biggest mining companies, including Rio Tinto and AngloGold Ashanti.

It previously operated a civil construction business before the sale of a majority of projects to CIMIC in 2013.

CIMIC said in a statement it had received Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the bid and that the competition watchdog had no concerns.

It plans to delist Macmahon, as it did UGL, if it builds a large enough stake.

The deal will be funded through a combination of available funds and existing debt facilities.

At 1500 AEDT, Macmahon shares were up 3.5 cents, or 32 per cent, at 14.5 cents, while CIMIC gained 34 cents, or one per cent, at $34.45.

Forager Funds Management is Macmahon’s second biggest shareholder with a 7.66 per cent stake, followed by 3rd Wave Investors and Schroder Investment Management at 5.28 and 5.21 per cent respectively.

 
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