Wednesday 30 April 2014

Not another Metso story!

Here's an interesting snippet I recently picked up about Weir Group's attempt to "merge" with Finnish company Metso.

Good sources have told me the maximum price Weir Group is willing to pay for Metso is EURO 28 a share.

When Weir Group revealed the details of its £8.5 billion all-share takeover proposal earlier this month the FTSE 100 company said it had offered 0.8400 shares for every Metso share, which back then worked out at EURO 25.70 a share.

However, Weir Group implied it wouldn't necessarily increase its offer price with a new proposal in its last statement when the company said: "there is no certainty it will revise the terms of its proposal [for Metso]".

So, have we arrived at a stalemate in the negotiations?

Not necessarily. Tomorrow, Weir Group is scheduled to unveil its interim management statement. If the trading update is better than expected (to be clear, I have no idea whether it will be) and Weir Group's shares move higher, then I guess Weir Group's original offer for Metso might end up rising to about EURO 28 or even higher.

Over last couple of weeks, Metso's shares have fallen from EURO 30 to EURO 28.8, so it seems the market has pretty much worked that one out.

The sticking point, though, might be cash. So far, Weir Group has only offered its own stock for Metso but there appears to be a market view that the engineering group will have to offer some cash to get the Finnish company's board to recommend a deal.

Weir Group declined to comment.

UPDATE: Weir Group's shares have come under pressure today following a trading update that showed weaker-than-expected demand in the mining sector. Here is a link to the FT article that covered the IMS in detail:

The FTSE 100 company may have to revise its proposal for Metso after all! Or is that the end of that?

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