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UPDATE 1-Japan's Nippon Koei trumps Arcadis in Hyder takeover tussle
August 8, 2014 / 8:27 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Japan's Nippon Koei trumps Arcadis in Hyder takeover tussle

(Adds analyst comments, shares)

LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - British engineering firm Hyder Consulting has accepted a 268 million pound ($451 million) takeover offer from Japan’s Nippon Koei, just days after recommending a bid from Dutch firm Arcadis.

Hyder and Nippon Koei said in a joint statement on Friday that the recommended cash offer would entitle Hyder shareholders to receive 680 pence in cash for each Hyder share, a 30 pence premium to an offer from Arcadis last week.

Hyder had accepted the bid from Dutch engineering group Arcadis, which was prepared to pay 650 pence per share for Hyder, in an offer valued at 256.2 million pounds.

Shares in Hyder have risen 35 percent since Arcadis made its offer last Thursday, and were up 8.7 percent at 701 pence by 0811 GMT, signalling investors hope for an even higher bid.

Arcadis said in a statement it would consider its options and make an announcement in due course, with analysts at Liberum suggesting another twist could emerge.

“While we mistakenly called the previous bid ‘likely a knock-out’, we are not sure that this one is! There is the possibility that Arcadis returns, or that a new bidder emerges,” they wrote in a note.

A tie-up between Hyder and Nippon Koei would create a company with a market capitalisation of $863.6 million.

Nippon Koei said the deal represented a 44.9 percent premium to Hyder’s shares on July 30 and a enterprise value to EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) multiple of 11.7 times.

The Japanese consulting firm, which provides engineering services in Japan, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, also said Hyder would continue to operate as a standalone division of the combined business and that operational changes to the company would be minimal.

“Consolidation has been a sector theme for a number of years and this event highlights the value that exists within the sector,” said N+1 Singer analyst Andy Brown.

$1 = 0.5948 British Pounds Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by Neil Maidment and Mark Potter

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