Aton could launch a new buyout bid for Murray & Roberts (M&R), the CEO of SA’s engineering and mining contractor said, months after the German investor threw in the towel on a R7.6bn takeover deal that faced opposition from competition authorities and its target’s board.

Aton, owned by billionaire Lutz Helmig, has been trying to buy M&R since 2017, but its offer was rejected by M&R’s board as poor value. But Aton picked up shares in open market at R17 each, raising its stake to about 44% and triggering a rule under capital markets regulations to offer the remaining shareholders the same amount.

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