CAPE TOWN – Murray & Roberts (M&R) slumped more than 17 percent yesterday morning before recovering later in the day as the iconic construction stock continued to slide following a failed take-over bid by Germany-based Aton Group.
The price fell 17.2 percent to R10.10, and though it gained ground later in the day it reflected the current bearishness in the price. The share price has fallen 9 percent ever since Aton walked away from its takeover attempt.
The failure of the bid has been well received by some who said it would have robbed South Africa and local investors of one of the country's last, biggest construction groups, and of the construction and engineering skills held within the group.
This month, Aton, which owns 44 percent of M&R, let its offer to acquire the rest of M&R’s shares lapse after the Competition Commission ruled the bid illegal, and after further hearings were scheduled at the Competition Tribunal for December this year and in January.
M&R directors said at the time that they valued the shares at R20-R22 per share, which had been well above the R17 that Aton offered.