Bidding war emerges over Concor

The share price of industrial and construction company Concor jumped 12,5% or R2,50 in early trade on Thursday after it emerged late on Tuesday that two rival construction groups—Murray & Roberts and Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) are interested in taking over Concor.

At 10.30am, Concor shares were quoted on the JSE Securities Exchange at R22,50, up from R20 at Tuesday’s close—the market was closed on Wednesday for the Freedom Day holiday. Trade was fairly brisk, with 23 570 shares having changed hands at the time.

Late on Tuesday, Murray & Roberts announced it had notified Concor’s board of its firm offer to buy the company for R22,30 per share, or R297-million, representing an 11% premium on Tuesday’s share price.

Concor and WBHO had already issued a joint cautionary announcement on April 22, and later said they were in discussions for WBHO to buy out Concor, although a specific price has not been mentioned.

Concor focuses on construction, engineering and allied operations across Southern Africa and has many different operating divisions, including Concor Building, Concor Civils, Concor Mining, Concor Engineering, Concor Technicrete, Concor Facility Management, Concor Property Development and Concor Roads.

Well-known German international construction group Hochtief holds just less than 50% of Concor’s shares, providing the South African company with the benefit of technology transfer.

Construction sector analysts believe the sudden interest in Concor is due partly to the expected acceleration in activity in the sector set to arise from the government’s five-year R165-billion expanded public works programme.—I-Net Bridge

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