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CAPE TOWN – Murray & Roberts (M&R), which is facing off a hostile takeover bid by German company Aton, said yesterday that it had acquired US-based Terra Nova Technologies (TNT) for R552million.

M&R’s share price rose sharply after the deal was announced and was trading 3.7 percent higher at R13.32 on the JSE by 2.10pm yesterday before closing at R13.37.

The group said its subsidiary, Cementation Americas, had acquired 100 percent of TNT, with the deal to be funded from a revolving and term loan credit facility and from existing cash resources.

M&R group chief executive Henry Laas said the acquisition complements the engineering and construction services of the M&R Underground Mining platform and the potential to grow TNT “is significant” in other areas where M&R operates.

TNT was established in San Diego in 1997 and has delivered 75 projects in more than 15 countries.

Meanwhile, Aton said yesterday that the approvals required for its hostile takeover bid, such as with competition authorities, were taking longer than expected, and it had extended the date to get these approvals from March 31 to end-June.

Aton has offered R17 a share to M&R shareholders, while the M&R board has said fair value for the business was more like R20 to R22.

TNT designs, supplies and commissions overland conveyors, and crushing and mobile stacking systems.

M&R’s Oil & Gas platform company, Clough, also recently acquired a US-based engineering, procurement and construction business from Saulsbury Industries for $5.2m (R75m).

Laas said the acquisitions enabled the group to diversify in growth markets, which were aligned to its core markets of natural resources.

The German family-owned Aton group already owns about 44 percent of M&R.

M&R had an order book worth some R30.1 billion at the end of its 2018 financial year.

BUSINESS REPORT