Tuesday 1 April 2014

Parkinson on top form - again

Gary Parkinson take a bow.

Gary, a market reporter over at The Times, and his colleague Robert Lea have just landed a cracking scoop about Weir Group trying to merge with Finland's Metso as part of an £8.5bn deal. Here is a link the piece: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/industrials/article4050660.ece

The Times scoop is "on the money", according to some of my sources. It will be interesting to see whether Weir Group confirms the story or whether it decides to put its "tools down" for a few months to avoid making a confirmation on the RNS.

"Tools down" or "down tools" is investment banker parlance and means when a company and its corporate finance advisers tell the Takeover Panel the business won't bid for a rival for several months after being outed in the media. Often, such an agreement allows companies to put out misleading non-denial, denial statements (I can recall a few!).

Of course, loyal Betaville readers would have got a whiff of Gary's scoop a few weeks ago as I picked up something was "going on" with Metso and speculated it might be a merger with Weir Group. Here is a link the original Betaville piece: http://www.betaville123.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/metso-under-spotlight.html#more

(Just to be clear, I am not taking anything away from Gary and Robert's scoop here. If I had as much conviction as Gary and Robert about Weir Group bidding for Metso, I would have written in that style at the time of the original piece I published. Gary and Robert are the real deal!).  


Both companies have confirmed The Times scoop. Here is the Weir Group statement:

The Weir Group Plc ("Weir") notes the recent press speculation concerning a possible transaction involving Weir and Metso Corporation ("Metso") and the subsequent statement from Metso.  Weir confirms that it has made an indicative all share merger proposal to the Board of Metso.

The Board of Weir believes that there is a strong strategic rationale for bringing the two companies together which would offer the opportunity for significant efficiencies and synergies, creating significant value for all shareholders.  Weir envisages that the merged entity would be listed on both the London and Helsinki Stock Exchanges.
Weir will make a further announcement as appropriate in due course.
Shareholders are advised that there can be no certainty that the merger proposal will lead to any agreement, or as to the timing or terms of any such agreement and there can be no assurance that, even if reached, any such agreement would lead to a transaction.

Any transaction would be subject, inter alia, to Weir shareholder approval.

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