Aton has confirmed a cash bid for all of Murray & Roberts, but the JSE-listed engineering group is still urging its shareholders to reject the R15 a share offer from the German family investment company, saying it materially undervalues the firm.

Aton said the offer, which values Murray & Roberts at R6.7bn, was a further investment by an "experienced multinational corporation" that underscored confidence in the South African market.

It already holds about 40% of Murray & Roberts shares.

Aton said it had been given the blessing of Murray & Roberts to directly approach the group’s shareholders and this was not a hostile takeover.

But Murray & Roberts has dismissed this interpretation, claiming it is "opportunistic".

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