Africa’s biggest pension fund Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has increased its stake in Murray & Roberts to 20% after opposing a takeover offer for the South African engineering group.
Murray & Roberts (M&R) said on Tuesday that PIC had increased its stake to 20.16%, from 15.34%, a day after PIC rejected a buyout offer for M&R from Germany’s ATON, saying it “materially undervalues” the South African group.
PIC is Murray & Roberts’ (M&R) second biggest shareholder but its move may not thwart ATON’s ambitions of getting a 50% plus one share majority as other shareholders could sell their shares.
ATON, which already owns more than a third of M&R, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It made its buyout offer last month, at R15 per share, valuing M&R at nearly $600 million.
M&R said last week that an independent report had showed that a fair offer for the company would be as much as R22 per share.
The German investment vehicle has increased its stake to 39.8% from 33% since its bid was announced, after obtaining shares from two top 10 shareholders, including Investment management company Allan Gray, M&R’s third largest shareholder.
ATON requires just over 10% to achieve it’s minimum requirement for a potentially successful bid.
Some of the top 10 shareholders in M&R include Sanlam and Dimensional Fund Advisors with 4.93% and 4.72% stakes respectively, according to M&R’s shareholder analysis. They have declined to comment.
Old Mutual was the first to publicly reject the offer saying that it is “below what we believe is fair value.”
M&R’s shares closed up 1.4% on Tuesday at R15.28 .