27/08/2008 - 14:48

Macmahon ups ante on Ausdrill bid

27/08/2008 - 14:48

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Macmahon Holdings Ltd has further strengthened its takeover bid for Ausdrill Ltd, waiving several conditions and allowing shareholders to keep the final six cents dividend.

Macmahon ups ante on Ausdrill bid

Macmahon Holdings Ltd has further strengthened its takeover bid for Ausdrill Ltd, waiving several conditions and allowing shareholders to keep the final six cents dividend.

Macmahon today released its supplementary bidder's statement, after last week increasing the takeover offer from 1.45 to 1.65 of its shares in return for 1 Ausdrill share.

The bidder said it will waive the index condition whereby if the S&P/ASX 300 index dropped below 5026 points for five or more trading days, the bid would be off the table. That condition had already been breached.

Commenting on the decision to waive the index condition, chief executive Nick Bowen said Macmahon has been very aware of the difficult equity market conditions during our takeover offer for Ausdrill.

"While the S&P/ASX 300 index has dropped by more than 14 per cent during this period, the Macmahon share price has actually improved by nearly 2 per cent.

"Macmahon has been a clear equity market outperformer despite the criticism that has been levelled at Macmahon shares by Ausdrill's Board since we first announced the takeover offer.

"We are pleased with our strong financial results and the market's recognition of this in our share price.

"Our share price strength has also underpinned the value of Ausdrill's shares during the market weakness.

"Based on the closing price of Macmahon shares on 26 August of $1.82 and the ratio of 1.65, our offer implies an Ausdrill price of $3.00, which is a 54 per cent premium over Ausdrill's pre-bid price of $1.95."

Macmahon will also accelerate payment terms under the offer said that Ausdrill shareholders who accept the offer will be issued scrip within five business days.

Macmahon currently holds a 0.32 per cent stake in Ausdrill.

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