German investment group Aton on Monday announced a R4.7bn cash offer for Murray & Roberts (M&R), bypassing management and causing the share price to rocket more than 50% on Monday. The German bid underlines the vulnerability of SA’s construction sector. Asked whether this was a hostile takeover, Murray & Roberts group investor and media executive Ed Jardim said: “You would have to ask Aton this question. They are making the offer to our shareholders directly and not via our board. I think you can take your cues from that.” Aton said the offer was subject to a minimum acceptance of 50% plus one share and was not subject to any due diligence, Aton said. Aton owns 30% of Murray & Roberts, so the buyout offer at R15 per share values Murray & Roberts at R6.7bn. Aton said the bid would take place in two stages, with the company first increasing its stake to just more than 33.1%, close to the level at which it must make an offer to all minority shareholders under JSE rules. It already has ...

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