The independent board of Murray & Roberts (M&R) is evidently keen to ensure investors are constantly aware of the group’s potential growth prospects, particularly its growth prospects in mining. It’s probably not a bad idea given all the grim stuff that is happening to its former peers in the construction industry. Of course, M&R is no longer in that industry, it is in "mining-related activities" and oil and gas. According to BDO Corporate Finance, which provided an independent valuation for the independent board appointed to consider the R17-a-share offer from Aton, the fair value price range for control of the group is R20 to R22 a share.

To be expected, M&R executives, who have a lot of share options that could kick in if there is a change of control, are backing the more bullish estimate. And they reckon the improved prospects for mining help to justify it. Thursday’s announcement about R4bn worth of new projects in Australasia and Mongolia will remind investors that it is...

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