Aveng shareholders and bondholders were the major beneficiaries of the takeover regulation panel ruling that Murray & Roberts (M&R) could proceed with its proposed takeover of Aveng. As soon as news of the ruling reached the market the Aveng share price started to pick itself up off the floor. By the close of trade on Thursday, it had reached a relatively healthy 24c. It might be down to hometown advantage, but right now it does look as though the guys at M&R have outmanoeuvred Aton at almost every step. It is of course still early days in the war for control of M&R, but unless peace breaks out it is likely there will be more drama with the competition authorities as well as the panel. While the Competition Tribunal ruling restricting Aton’s vote to 50% less one share turned out to be irrelevant on the day it has proved one thing: that even with 44% Aton does not have control of M&R. Given M&R’s tactical successes to date and the fact that Aton has been forced to upgrade its volunta...

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