31/08/2004 - 22:00

New Clough owner seeks control

31/08/2004 - 22:00


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New Clough owner seeks control

South African firm Murray & Roberts is planning to increase its stake in Clough to at least 50.1 per cent but insists Clough will remain an independent listed company.

“It has never been our intention in this process that we would want to make an offer and take out the company,” M&R managing director Brian Bruce said.

“Our primary intention has been the strategic partnership.

“We see ourselves coming in as a value-added shareholder and partner.”

M&R announced last week that it would subscribe for 60 million Clough shares at 68 cents, giving Clough a handy capital injection of $40.8 million.

M&R, which was advised by Euroz Corporate Finance, also plans to buy 60 million shares from the Clough family at 68 cents, well above last week’s prevailing share price of about 57 cents.

M&R will emerge with 29.3 per cent of Clough and plans to gradually increase its holding to a majority position.

The Clough family’s stake will drop to 34.6 per cent.

Clough chairman Jock Clough said this was the latest step in a sell-down of the family shares that started in 1989, when former chairman Harold Clough first sold shares to staff.

He said the family “certainly want to retain a substantial shareholding”, between 15 and 25 per cent.

Clough managing director David Singleton told WA Business News the two companies had been in discussions for six months and planned to establish a joint venture to pursue opportunities in metals and minerals extraction processing in Australia and parts of South-East Asia.

“We believe that global scale is increasingly important and we sought a partner in our general market sector who also had a complementary market position,” Mr Singleton said.

Ernst & Young Mergers & Acquisitions advised Clough.


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