The independent board of Murray & Roberts said on Wednesday a fair value price for control of the group was between R20 and R22 per ordinary share.

This came after independent expert BDO Corporate Finance issued a preliminary valuation report on whether a firm intention by German group Aton to make an offer of R15 an ordinary share for the global engineering group was fair and reasonable. SBG Securities had earlier valued Murray & Roberts at R19.80 a share, also stating that a control premium would push this to between R24 and R26 a share.

“The independent board therefore affirms its view that the offer materially undervalues Murray & Roberts based on its prospects and is opportunistic at the current offer price,” the group said on Wednesday.

“Murray & Roberts shareholders are again advised to take no further action regarding the proposed offer, which is expected to open on or about Friday, April 6 2018,” it said.

Murray & Roberts also said on Wednesday it had received formal notification that Aton had bought additional shares in the group, talking its total holding to about 33.1% of the entire issued share capital and 33.3% of total voting rights. The announcements lifted the share 1.28% to close at R14.27 on the day.

Aton reiterated to Business Day on Wednesday it intended making a cash offer at a price of R15 per share, which is 56.4% above the Murray & Roberts closing price as at March 22 2018, and 42.4% above the 30-day volume weighted average price of the group on that date.

“Aton still believes that our cash offer of R15 per share will provide Murray & Roberts shareholders with the opportunity to realise significant and attractive value and crystallise this value in cash. This view is demonstrated by two top-10 shareholders having sold or agreed to sell ... [about] 9.6% of the issued share capital of Murray & Roberts to Aton at R15 per share,” Aton said. Allan Gray is one of the shareholders.