BESIX confirms its final and best offer for major stake in Watpac

1 June 2018, Written by David Simmons

BESIX confirms its final and best offer for major stake in Watpac

BESIX has hit the limit with its takeover of listed construction company Watpac (ASX: WTP), today giving notice of its best and final offer for Watpac shares.

Belgium-based BESIX has offered the final price of $0.92 per share to acquire 50 per cent of Watpac shares held by Watpac shareholders.

In the three months since BESIX first proposed the takeover of Watpac, no superior proposal has been announced.

Watpac reaffirmed its stance to unanimously recommend that its shareholders vote in favour of the takeover offer at its next Scheme Meeting to be held on 7 June 2018.

According to BESIX, an independent expert has also concluded that the scheme proposal is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of Watpac shareholders, in the absence of a superior proposal.

BESIX announced its intention to takeover the Australian construction and mining company immediately after Watpac announced its statutory loss of $1.4 million at 1H18.

The Belgium-based company is Watpac's largest shareholder, holding 28.1 per cent voting power as of February.

If the scheme proposal is accepted, BESIX's share of Watpac will increase to 64.1 per cent of the company's total share capital.

The takeover proposal of $0.92 per share values Watpac at $168.7 million on an equity value basis.

On its half year financial performance, Watpac managing director Martin Monro says the group's selective tendering practices in targeted sectors resulted in an improved workbook quality anticipated to result in enhanced earning prospects.

"Our construction business has continued to perform profitably over the past six months however this has been impacted by a reduction in the financial contribution of the group's Civil & Mining business," says Monro.

The group attributes the loss to lower work volumes in the mining business, offsetting a solid financial performance from the group's construction business, which recorded a 2.56 per cent increase in revenue for the reporting period.

Monro says the reduction in the financial contribution of its civil and mining business was disappointing and also reflective of the lower levels of work completed during the first half, as several large projects neared or reached completion.

"While there is low work-in-hand for the mining component of our business, pleasingly our civil infrastructure opportunities continue to grow and we anticipate this to continue into future periods," says Monro.

Shares in Watpac are up 3.75 per cent to $0.83 per share at 10.18am AEST.

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Business News Australia

Author: David Simmons





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