London-listed engineering company Weir Group (WEIR.L) is said to be in talks to takeover its Finnish rival Metso Oyj (MEO1V.HE) in a 8.5 billion pounds ($14.17 billion) deal to expand its industrial pumps and valves market, the Times reported early Tuesday.
The company, which caters to mining and oil and gas industries globally, may pay as much as 30 euros a share for the Helsinki-listed Metso, which would value the company at more than 4 billion euros (£3.3 billion), the newspaper reported.
Weir Group and Metso could not be reached for a comment outside of normal business hours.
Market sources told the Times that Metso was the type of company that Weir would be monitoring as a matter of course. "They are talking a merger and have been for some time," one source told the newspaper.
"There is no formal offer thus far, but they have been talking informally for a couple of months."
The Times said that it is believed that the executives, who are being advised by the joint broker Merrill Lynch, want to move forward within the month.
"Would it surprise us if this came to pass? No, it would not," an industry source told the Times.
Shares in the FTSE-100 Weir Group closed at 2553 pence on the London Stock Exchange, while shares in Metso closed at 23.34 euros on the OMX Helsinki Index.
($1 = 0.5998 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore)