Aton, which also has an about 44percent shareholding in M&R and has made a hostile takeover bid for M&R, has publicly stated its opposition to M&R’s potential acquisition of Aveng. It previously claimed the transaction’s “sole intent appears to be to frustrate Aton’s compelling proposition to M&R shareholders”.
Aveng reported that it was notified last Thursday that Aton and its wholly-owned subsidiary Aton Austria Holdings had acquired the shareholding in the group. Aton has not provided any reason for its acquisition of the shareholding in Aveng.
M&R said on Friday its board of directors would assess this development and provide further guidance to its shareholders in relation to a potential combination of M&R and Aveng in due course. The acquisition of the shareholding in Aveng by Aton means it would be able to prevent the potential R1billion all-share acquisition of the group by M&R.
Any offer made by M&R would require the approval of 75percent of Aveng’s shareholders. The failure of the transaction was likely to place Aveng in a precarious financial position.