CIMIC in $396m bid for Aussie rival

The Sydney-based developer intends to delist UGL after acquiring the 86% it does not already own in the business.

Australian construction firm CIMIC Group has announced a takeover bid for UGL which values its rival at A$524 million ($396 million; €355 million). 

CIMIC currently owns 13.84 percent of UGL and plans to acquire the remainder through an unconditional, off-market offer. 

The final offer price is set at A$3.15 for each UGL share, representing a 47.2 percent premium to the last close price last Friday. The bid was lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Australian Securities Exchange yesterday. 

According to a statement by the bidder, other large shareholders in UGL include South African firm Allan Gray (19.48 percent), European insurers AXA and Alliance Bernstein (8.89 percent) and Atlanta-based asset manager Invesco (8.27 percent). Australia’s Ubique Asset Management owns a 7.27 percent stake while Westpac holds an interest of 6.23 percent. BT Investment Management, Legg Mason Asset Management and National Australia Bank each own a stake of less than 6 percent. 

UGL recommended that its shareholders take no action in relation to the CIMIC announcement. Its board is set to meet as soon as possible to consider the offer, the company said in a statement.   

Should the transaction go through, CIMIC intends to delist UGL and reshuffle its board. The proposed deal has been cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also pre-assessed the transaction and said it does not intend to conduct a public review. 

Sydney-headquartered CIMIC operates in the infrastructure, resources and property markets in more than 20 countries, while UGL, also based in New South Wales, focuses on the transport, technology systems, power, resources, water and defence sectors in the Asia-Pacific area.