Arcadis counterbids Nippon Koei for Hyder Consulting
Dutch engineering consultant Arcadis looks likely to acquire Hyder Consulting after trouncing Japanese rival bidder Nippon Koei with a new £288M counterbid. The deal represents a 7% increase on Nippon Koei's 680p offer and will see 730p paid for each share.
Hyder’s board has recommended the Arcadis offer to shareholders, after withdrawing its support for the Nippon Koei bid on Thursday.
Arcadis also announced its acquisition of 6,085,162 Hyder shares, including those held by Hyder directors.
Nippon Koei gazumped an initial £256M offer from Arcadis when it offered £268M for Hyder a fortnight ago.
The Japanese firm, which credit rating agency Rating and Investment Information recently warned faced downgrade if it went ahead with the Hyder bid, reacted to the renewed Arcadis offer by saying it would consider its options and make an announcement in due course, although analysts believe a further counterbid is unlikely.
Liberum analyst Joe Brent said: “Arcadis’ acquisition of 15.6% of Hyder’s share capital provides a strong statement of intent and will act as a disincentive to any counterbid…a third recommended offer for Hyder at 730p feels like a technical knock-out. A 7% increment may not look convincing, but Arcadis' acquired minority stake, the directors' commitment to sell their shares and risk to Nippon Koei’s credit rating limits the prospect of a successful counter.”
Recommending the increased Arcadis offer, Ivor Catto, chief executive of Hyder, said: “The combined rich histories, shared values, strong strategic and cultural fit and the financial strength of the combined business make the two organisations natural partners.”
A successful acquisition of Hyder will increase Arcadis’ involvement in areas such as water treatment and distribution.
Neil McArthur, chief executive of Arcadis, said Hyder’s strength in the utilities sector would “further strengthen Arcadis’ leadership positions across its global business lines, particularly in infrastructure (rail and road), buildings and water (treatment and distribution).”
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