Multiplex, the Australian contractor, developer and property fund manager, said today it had received a takeover approach, prompting a 17% jump in its share price
Multiplex, the Australian contractor, developer and property fund manager, said today it had received a takeover approach, prompting a 17% jump in its share price.
The Sydney-based company said in a statement a third party had requested to start takeover talks and had already approached its largest shareholder, the Roberts Family Nominees, which represents the group's founding family.
Multiplex’s shares have been hit hard since cost overruns and delays at its construction of the new Wembley stadium first emerged in February 2005. The shares closed today in Australia at A$4.85, the highest level in nearly two years, giving Multiplex a market capitalization of A$4.06bn (£1.6bn).
Multiplex said no firm proposal had been made, but it expected talks to take place within the next few weeks. ‘Multiplex is not aware of details of any possible proposal and wishes to emphasize that there is no guarantee that any proposal will be forthcoming,’ it added.
Analysts speculated that the approach could have come from rival company Lend Lease, but a spokesman for the company said it was not interested.
It is possible that Multiplex could be taken private by the Roberts family, who hold a 26% stake. The company's chief executive Andrew Roberts is the son of the late founder John Roberts.