Picture: 123RF/SERGEI DMITRIENKO
Picture: 123RF/SERGEI DMITRIENKO

German investment group Aton appears to have won its battle to block Murray & Roberts’s proposed acquisition of Aveng.

Murray & Roberts issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying it had withdrawn its offer to Aveng, giving two reasons for abandoning the deal.

The first was that Aton’s stake in M&R — which was last reported at about 44% — along with the more than 25% it acquired in Aveng resulted in the German investor "establishing negative control" in both companies.

The second reason was that Aton succeeded in having the Takeover Regulation Panel’s approval of M&R’s Aveng acquisition overruled by the Takeover Special Committee (TSC) on August 1.

"Having considered these developments and its options, the board is of the view that the prospects of successfully implementing the potential transaction are limited. Accordingly, the board has resolved to withdraw its proposal regarding the potential combination," Wednesday’s statement said.

Aveng issued a statement acknowledging Murray & Roberts had informed it the deal was off.

M&R said: "The board is disappointed with the decision reached by the TSC, in light of the prior approval given by Murray & Roberts shareholders to continue to develop the potential transaction.

"The board has, however, resolved not to take the TSC’s decision on review at this time and continues to reserve its rights in this regard."

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