Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Germany-based conglomerate Aton has told the Competition Tribunal that Murray & Roberts’s (M&R’s) bid to restrict its voting rights to just 30% at the shareholders’ meeting on June 19, called to vote on a possible tie-up with Aveng, is nothing more than a frustrating action. It said the move represented an attempt to abuse the Competition Act. Aton lodged its responding papers with the tribunal on Tuesday evening. Aton gave the tribunal an undertaking that it would not vote more than 50% of the votes cast at the meeting if its rights constituted more than 50% of the votes present at the meeting. Aton said M&R’s application was an attempt to frustrate the offer that was made by Aton to M&R shareholders. It told the tribunal that if the Aveng transaction was allowed to proceed, M&R shareholders would suffer "substantial prejudice".

Aton also criticised M&R for the "curtailed time periods it has imposed" on Aton and the tribunal, which has scheduled a hearing for June 15. Aton to...

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