Kentz shares hit as takeover faulters

Shares in the Ireland-founded international engineering services group, Kentz, fell by almost 10% yesterday, after one of the two companies linked to a takeover of the firm withdrew its interest days before the final deadline for binding offers reports this morning Irish Examiner.

It was formally announced yesterday that British oil engineering firm Amec is no longer considering an offer for the Clonmel and Jersey-based business.

Amec has been linked to Kentz since launching an indicative offer of around £700m at the end of last month. A lower indicative approach was also made by German group M&W around the same time, with both having been rejected by the Kentz board, on the basis that they “undervalued the business and its future prospects”.

A date of Sept 16 (next Monday) was set as a deadline for binding offers and, while Amec has now pulled out of the process, that date technically remains in place for M&W, or any other interested party.

They must either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Kentz or walk away from the process; although the UK Takeover Panel can allow an extension to the offer deadline.

Kentz has noted that, since the initial news of approaches in the middle of August, it has not received any further proposals from Amec or M&W.

Throughout the offer period, Kentz has said that it has been open to discussions with any interested party, regarding proposals which “properly reflected” the group’s long-term value.

Kentz’s chief executive, Christian Brown, said yesterday that the board remains focused on delivering value for its shareholders. “Naturally, while we have every confidence in our ability to deliver further value to our shareholders as an independent company, the board fully understands its responsibilities to all our shareholders,” he said.

Last month, Kentz published first-half figures showing an annualised 2% rise in revenues to $775.2m and adjusted pre-tax profits of $55.4m; up by 8% on the same period last year. The group, which specialises in providing infrastructural support services for major oil and gas exploration companies around the world, has recently strengthened its presence in Africa and has said its strong cash position provides it with considerable financial flexibility and opportunity to meet its strategic growth plans. Source: Irish Examiner.