(Ecofin Agency) - German investment firm Aton GmbH gave up on its $500 million bid for the total acquisition of South African construction group Murray & Roberts. The German company which already owns 44% of M&R submitted two bids to get the 56% remaining shares but neither M&R’s Board nor the South African Competition Commission gave their approval.
On March 27, 2019, when Aton submitted the first offer, the targeted company’s Board rejected it saying the offer is opportunistic since it coincides with a period of unprecedented decline in the group's share price, due to its low level of liquidity and the decline in the valuations of its peers in the construction sector.
However, in a press release issued on 1 October 2019, M&R explained that “in accordance with the terms of the Offer, the right to extend the Long Stop Date is at ATON's sole and absolute discretion”. The Murray & Roberts share fell by 6.5% on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange according to data from this market observed by the Ecofin Agency.