GERMAN family-owned business Aton yesterday reported good progress following the opening of its offer to acquire the majority of Murray & Roberts for R15 a share.
As of April, Aton, held a beneficial interest of 39.8% of M&R and has received further interest from shareholders to its offer. The next step is for Aton to file its merger notification with the Competition Commission by May, being the date set by the commission to do so.
M&R will also file its own separate merger notification. Despite numerous engagements, the M&R board made its intention clear to Aton that it would not cooperate following which Aton made an application to the Commission to file separately.
Prior to the publication of the response circular by the M&R board the commission directed Aton and M&R to file separate merger notifications with an initial deadline of May 10. This time period was subsequently extended to May 24 on the request of the M&R board.
Although M&R continues to say that the merger notification is premature, the commission would not have directed the parties to file separately if it believed that the notification process was untimely.
Aton says it remains of the view that the implementation of the offer would be beneficial to M&R and its stakeholders. The offer, the group said, represents a significant value for the M&R shareholders and represents “a vote of confidence” in the South African economy by a Germanowned firm.